Keep In Touch
. . . even in the air. These new tech features are ready for takeoff.
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Flying on a plane used to be one of the few places where youcould disconnect from the world. But with technology pushing itsway onboard, staying in touch with terrestrial matters while flyingat 35,000 feet will soon be routine.
- In-flight cellphones: Current rules forbid use of mobile phones oncommercial airliners. But earlier this year, American and FrontierAirlines began testing new systems that let passengers use theircell phones in-flight. Planes are equipped with a cellular basestation. Onboard calls are routed through this base station, thenlinked to the earthbound telephone network via satellite, allowingpassengers to make and receive calls without interfering with theplane's navigation systems. Testing should last another year orso.
- In-flightinternet: Lufthansa now offers onboard high-speed internetaccess using a system called Connexion by Boeing. Users log on for$30 per long-haul flight or opt for the metered price of $10 forthe first 30 minutes, then 25 cents per minute thereafter.(You'll soon find Connexion on All Nippon Airways, AsianaAirlines, China Airlines, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, ScandinavianAirlines and Singapore Airlines.)
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