Thales predicts wi-fi on planes will be universal

Not sure how French defence giant will benefit

Jean-Bernard Levy, CEO of the French defence giant, Thales, is predicting that Wi-fi will soon be fitted by most commercial airlines. He to the UK’s Sunday Telegraph, said that recent advances in the technology will mean that within a couple of years broadband services would be available for all passengers on short and long-haul flights “for the price of just a few pounds [£s] per flight.” Apparently, this change the face of civilian air travel. Does he mean that satellite broadband is coming down in price? Or that the dishes can track satellites more accurately. Why not use cellular instead or as well?

Levy argued that, “I think we are on the eve of a big revolution. In the near future the cost of that broadband on that plane will fall dramatically.”

This will enable passengers to watch TV; access Facebook; or check their bank accounts whilst in the air,

He added, “You’ll be charged like you are today in a hotel. At the moment, you have a few expensive services that enable you to be connected to the world brought to you only by a few airlines on some long-range flights,”

Of course, the burning question is why will airlines suddenly believe that Wi-fi is safe but cellular is not?

After all, there is not a great deal of difference between Wi-fi operating at 2.4 GHz and 3G working at 2.1 GHz.

GoMo News has already exposed the belief that cellular is inherently dangerous on aircraft – ‘Guest Post: The real truth about why you can’t use a mobile phone on a plane‘ as a myth.

Then, of course, Singapore Airlines (SIA)  became the the first Asia-based airline to roll out a solution from AeroMobile back in 2013 (see here).

The system enables passengers on SIA’s brand new Boeing 777-300ER to use their own mobile phones to text and browse the internet at 30,000 feet.

The final nail in the myth’s coffin was this … ‘USA lifts ban on smartphone usage on take-off‘.

So we reckon that Mr Levy could well be right, the cost of using mobile broadband on aircraft could plummet. But cellular will play a part as well as Wi-fi.

About Tony Dennis

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
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