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Wireless earns its wings

Lufthansa and Boeing win approval for Wi-Fi services in the skies

Following its announcement that it will be rolling out in-flight broadband services across its entire long haul fleet, Lufthansa has now won approval for onboard wireless internet from the German and British aviation authorities.

Working with Boeing Connexion, which provides all the broadband services on its planes, Lufthansa Technik has won certification for 802.11b-based wireless internet which means passengers will be able to access the web using their own devices equipped with wireless cards.

The introduction of Wi-Fi technology in the cabin means that airlines can do away with the need for cables to connect passengers to the net, which will help to cut down on overall aircraft weight.

To support the certification of their wireless services, Boeing Connexion and Lufthansa Technik have tested a range of Wi-Fi devices to confirm they comply with strict aviation standards, and also to make sure there are no health risks associated with the introduction of such technology into aircraft.

The service is due to be introduced in 2004 as part of the Connexion by Boeing service.

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