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RECENT NEWS FLASH 2000-14 (May 2000)

(Updated on May 5,  2000)

TECHNOLOGY

Boeing Unveils High-Speed Global Communications Service - Live In-flight Internet, Corporate Intranet and E-Mail

The Boeing Company announced plans to develop a global communications network called Connexion by Boeing™ (Connexion); the system will provide air travelers with high-speed data communication services via a space-based network.

Using Connexion, commercial airline passengers will be able to access the Internet, e-mail, news and information and choose from a multitude of communications services, including Internet and corporate intranet access, e-commerce, transmission and receipt of data, travel and destination information – all in real-time at 40,000 feet. For the business traveler, this means never being out of touch with colleagues and always having access to critical-information. Other applications for the communications network will include corporate and private business jets, U.S. government platforms, and aircraft health monitoring.  Airline operators also will benefit from in-flight access to aircraft and crew data.

Digital broadband capability, which provides increased bandwidth or a larger "pipeline" - for two-way interactive applications, allows customers to send and receive data at rates equivalent to cable Internet access. All passengers will be able to use the service simultaneously, with data rates of 5Mbps to receive and 1.5Mbps to transmit. The enabling technology is a proprietary solid-state phased array antenna, which allows for two-way data transmission, via the nearest satellite. Initially, Connexion will not support voice service.

Travelers will need a notebook computer in order to access the Internet from any seat on the plane. Business users will be billed through pre-established corporate accounts. Internet and company Intranet services will cost a fee.

System installations are expected to begin in North America in late 2001, with a global rollout through to 2005. The service will eventually reach additional markets including cruise ships and oil exploration platforms. Ultimately the Company sees Connexion as an enabler for addressing civil and military information needs, such as air traffic management and integrated military communications.

For more information, go to http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2000/news_release_000427a.html

Mobileinfo Advisory and Comment:

This is major technology news in web-enabling of air travelers at high speed while in the sky.  This will move the mobile office to the sky - improving the productivity of business class passengers. Will the economy class travelers be able to afford it?  They need the speed more than the executives who need to go through their e-mail inbox and send replies to these messages. 

Note: This news release may contain forward-looking statements. Readers should take appropriate caution in developing plans utilizing these products, services and technology architectures.

All trademarks used in this summary are the property of their respective owners.


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