A recent study conducted by Honeywell Aerospace indicated that passengers of airplanes would give up a comfortable seat with more space to receive a better wireless connection. “Almost two-thirds of passengers would rather have access to fast in-flight Wi-Fi that allows them to stream video and music than sit in their preferred seat,” Honeywell Aerospace reported.
Wireless connectivity on airplanes has changed the perception of passengers when it comes to the amenities they prefer. A few years back, wireless connections to laptops and cell phones were thought to interfere with the airplane instruments and now people will give up their exit seat with more room just to have a better connection.
Cell phones used to be a contraband item and now they are allowed to be use in-flight. What caused the big turnaround? The Discovery Channel explained on one of their more popular shows, Mythbusters, “When you make a call at 10,000 feet, the signal bounces off multiple available cell towers, rather than one at a time. That means too many phone-happy jetsetters might clog up the networks on the ground, which is why the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) — not the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) — banned cell use on planes.”
Now that we know cell phones won’t cause the airplane to come crashing down, entertainment has become a big factor in the airline industry. “"We've all experienced the entertainment and productivity gains a connected home and office provide us. It's clear there is now strong demand for the connected aircraft — so much so that passengers are willing to give up a preferred seat to have access to a high-speed, highly reliable broadband connection that is available across oceans and continents,” said Bill Kircos, VP of Communications at Honeywell Aerospace.
It seems possible to have wireless communications while flying across the country with cell tower strategically placed every couple hundred of miles, but how can airplanes access wireless networks while over the ocean? Honeywell Aerospace as well as Titan Aerospace are working to create satellites that would replace cell towers and allow for better Internet access during transatlantic flights. With everyone constantly checking their email, social media networks, stocks, and anything else that requires a clear connection discovering innovative ways to deliver a wireless network to consumers is becoming a top priority for many companies.