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By: Sverre Sjøthun, July 2, 2003  Print this article

In February next year, Scandinavian Airlines starts installing wireless networks in all long distance flights. This makes SAS the first in the world to offer internet connection to it’s passengers while airborne. Read on to find out more.

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In February next year, Scandinavian Airlines starts installing wireless networks in all long-haul flights. This makes SAS the first in the world to offer internet connection to it’s passengers while airborne.

Scandinavian Airlines has signed a contract with Connexion by Boeing for the installation of wireless broadband on board. Installation will begin in February 2004 and the entire long-haul fleet will be equipped a year later.

“The Nordic region is one of the world’s most IT-dense areas and the ability to communicate easily from the air was high on our passengers’ list of priorities,” says Jens Willumsen, who is responsible for Market & Product Management at Scandinavian Airlines. “This is why we have been working for a long time to achieve a complete solution that meets our customers’ demands.”

After installation of the wireless networks, all travellers will be able to connect their laptops or PDAs and use this service, including audio and video streaming.

Scandinavian Airlines will be the first airline in the world to invest exclusively in wireless technology (IEEE 802.11-standard) for Internet on board.

“We have long understood the benefits of wireless technology and since it is now making progress, it was an even more natural choice,” comments Jens Willumsen.

Even at 30.000 feet it will be possible to log on and check your email, use VPN and such in a safe and secure way if your company support features like this. Regular users will still be ablse to enjoy high speed internet connection or online gaming on their journey.

In preparation for the service introduction, Connexion by Boeing and Scandinavian Airlines are working on a host of payment options that will allow passengers to enjoy full access to the Internet. Payment will be by credit card or various forms of subscription.

Using a unique SAS portal, travelers will also receive free access to services that facilitate their journey and selected corporate partners will also be able to offer their services.

Scandinavian Airlines was also the first company to introduce wireless network connections in their lounges back in 1999.

Sverre Sjøthun

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