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.
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!
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.