In-flight Wi-Fi takes off

2012-05-08 17:32

Cape Town - In-flight internet has finally come to South African skies.

Mango airlines together with Vodacom and G-Connect launched the service on Tuesday, a first for South Africa. Called G-Connect In-Flight Wi-Fi, the service offers unlimited access over the Hughes satellite service at 4Mbps TCP/IP.

G-Connect says you can check your e-mails, read News24, browse the web, catch up on all your social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, all this whilst in flight.

Two in-flight packages for internet access will be on offer, either three hours of data priced at R50 valid for one flight or 20 hours priced at R90 for a day, G-Connect told News24.

The service will initially only be available on Mango 737-800’s fitted with the in-flight Wi-Fi equipment. There are however plans to extend the service to other aircraft.

Vodacom will supply the satellite services needed to provide in-flight connectivity, while Row 44 will provide the technology.

To connect to in-flight Wi-Fi you will need a Wi-Fi (802.11b/g.n) enabled laptop, tablet or smartphone.

G-Connect users will be able to use their current G-Connect accounts whilst aboard an appropriately equipped aircraft.

It is claimed the service is expected to be very stable with a good overall throughput, but users can expect higher latency than standard broadband services because of the satellite based backhaul connectivity.

  • Jacqueline - 2012-05-08 17:58

    Unfortunately, its not going to work 90 percent of the time. A airline I worked for overseas tried the exact same thing and it was more of hassle than it was worth! Good luck to all who try.

      Neil - 2012-05-08 22:18

      I used wifi on 6 American Airlines flights in the USA in January 2012. Worked great on all of them. Just use it politely, namely no talking on skype etc..

  • chambreys - 2012-05-08 18:23

    Best news i have heard all day. online freedom in my lifetime.

  • liron.segev.1 - 2012-05-08 19:59

    I am not convinced this is a good thing. Yes in theory internet in the sky yay - but when the person next to you is chatting away on Skype its not going to be fun...

  • sean.looney - 2012-05-08 21:04

    and they make you pay for it? as if you weren't being robbed enough on flights as it is!

  • Fredster - 2012-05-09 07:26

    They cannot get proper speedds on land, now you want to do it at 30 000ft

  • createbus - 2012-05-09 08:29

    This seems good, but most SA flights are for two hours maximum. Of these two hours you will not be allowed to use your electronic devices during take-off or landing; which gives you at least 30 minutes less. Yet you only have the option of a three hour bundle valid for one flight only. Seems like a money making racket to me, rather than a service...

  • raath - 2012-05-09 12:56

    Great, now if proper airlines can provide it for cheaper, you'd have a winner. [payed for] wifi on a flight is hardly a reason to use a specific airline.

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