On my recent holidays, it was with some interest when I boarded an American Airways flight, that they’re offering on-board Wi-Fi.
Travels with Wi-Fi
While it's not necessarily a new innovation, in-flight Wi-Fi is definitely becoming more of the norm.
While I'd hate to have people chatting on their mobile phone next to be on a flight (no one is
going to like that eh), the convenience of remaining connected while in the air is pretty cool.
In-Flight Wi-Fi is only one example of how Wi-Fi is appearing all over the place. Along with the introduction of 5G, Wi-Fi 6 is greatly increasing throughput.
Ubiquitous access and high speed throughput? What's not to love!
In-Flight Wi-Fi in Australia
For some time now, Virgin Australia have been offering a version of Wi-Fi on-board service here in Australia.
You can stream entertainment on your own device via the on-board Wi-Fi network, and for a free service, Virgin do a pretty good job I think.
I particularly like the fact it's free on domestic flights, so I can work away and continue to send and receive email on the go. You can pay for the upgraded service, but the free Wi-Fi option works just fine.
It kind of got me thinking just how ubiquitous communication in general and Wi-Fi in particular have become.
Wi-Fi on Holiday
I get a lot of emails (like most people these days) and I try and keep on top of them, so that means working for a bit, even when on holiday.
Wi-Fi on the go in overseas countries is particularly important. Hotel Wi-Fi is one that's particularly important, although anyone that has ever used Hotel Wi-Fi will know it is rarely installed to provide a good quality service. Hotel Wi-Fi can work well though - it just needs to be designed properly and installed to deliver quality of service you expect to be able to deliver your Netflix movies.
On my last trip to the US, I noticed that American Airlines were offering inflight Wi-Fi. Although I didn't use the service on my American Airlines flight, I grabbed a screen shot – I think the pricing is pretty reasonable considering you’re up in the air – especially if you’re just needing to synch your outlook email. Full marks American Airlines for making the service available:
It seems we are ever bound to be more connected, so this will be a great boon to those who need to (or want to) remain connected. For those travellers who just want to escape while up in the air, it may not be the best move forward.
I think onboard Wi-Fi is great - I can't say I feel the same about allowing mobile phone use, with onboard repeaters to a ground station. I think we can all do without people chatting on their phones right next to you in such a confined space!
Travels with Wi-Fi: Summary
I guess these days it's a clear cut case: we all rely on connectivity and Wi-Fi is the most convenient. When you're on holiday, roaming charges can be pretty high - and quality not that great.
Good Wi-Fi really helps us all remain connected and you don't realise just how much until you're out of your home environment.
The other footnote here is just how many places Wi-Fi is popping up - its just ubiquitous now. For businesses and in particular hotels, delivering a great Wi-Fi experience is a base expectation of travellers now.
As a complete side note, I've got a great blog on teamwork in network installation, or how about a read about some of the team at IPTel - Armen Vardanian - RTLS Expert and Arne Bier - Cisco ISE Champion.