January 25, 2001 -- Soon enough it looks like we'll know if turning on electronic devices in-flight will really cause aircraft to drop out of the sky. Tenzing Communication struck a deal with Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) and Telia yesterday to begin onboard testing of Tenzing's in-flight communication services.
In the deal, SAS passengers will be able to access e-mail and limited Internet services on their personal laptops. Don't get too excited, though. The Internet offering is an on-board cached Web that includes airline and traveler portals.
Airborne access will come via a wireless in-cabin local area network (LAN) using IEEE 802.11b technology to connect passengers to the Tenzing system. The agreement, in conjunction with European wireless access provider Telia Mobile and Telia HomeRun ", will provide wireless access for passengers in-flight or on the ground. Telia Mobile has deployed wireless services in numerous airports and other public areas that allow passengers to connect and access a suite of services designed for the traveler.
"This new wireless service will create unique possibilities for e-mail and Internet access both on the ground and on SAS aircraft. As of today, our customers have access to wireless connectivity through Telia HomeRun in SAS lounges. This service will be expanded to all 19 SAS lounges worldwide during 2001," said Jan Olson, Vice President, SAS Product- and Service Development.