Broadband through the air will continue to grow this year as Lufthansa become the latest airline to start pushing their "flying hotspot" FlyNet service which offers broadband services on their long-haul flights. Through a partnership with Deutsche Telekom and Panasonic Avionics, the company can provide up to 5Mbps broadband on flights to customers using Wi-Fi. Since the service became available in December, they have seen average data volumes of 2.35 GB downloaded and 250 MB uploaded per flight.
Service is available in chunks of 10 minutes to Deutsche Telekom customers for €1.79. Other customers can pay via credit cart for one hour at €10.95 or €19.95 for 24 hours of access. This works out at a reasonable deal as this can be used in Lufthansa lounges at airports as well as on any connecting flights which have the FlyNet service enabled.
"The continued high level of interest in the new wireless services affirms our strategy. We want to offer our customers a fourth-generation mobile Internet experience that delivers high speed independently of which technology is available at the time of use, thus providing simplicity and outstanding service. Easy access via WiFi plays an important role in the 4G experience, whether at home, at points of interest or even on trains and planes, making long trips feel much shorter."Olivier Baujard, (Chief Technology Officer) Deutsche Telekom
So far, only a select handful of long haul-flights across the North Atlantic have the FlyNet service, but it should be available on nearly all by the end of 2011.