Panasonic Looks to Connect
If Glenn Fleishman knows anything (and he usually does), Panasonic is stepping into the void left by the end of Connexion by Boeing, by opening their own in-flight WiFi operation.
According to Fleishman:
Panasonic wants commitments within 60 days from airlines for 500 planes to be equipped; they say they have 150 committed now. Lufthansa has over 60 planes with Connexion and SAS with about 20; I suspect both airlines have signed on.
The antennae used for the Panasonic operation will weigh less and rely on better technology than the Connexion antennae did, giving Panasonic a distinct advantage in a market that has yet to prove profitable.
What I want to know is whether Panasonic has addressed the very real question raised by Robert Scoble about access to electrical power. Who wants to pay $15 for a day of WiFi only to have their computer run out of battery after 2-3 hours?
When retrofitting the aircraft with their antenna, Panasonic should think about throwing in a few power strips as well…