WiFi and VoIP in the sky

Plane manufacturer Boeing announced today that it has certified the hotspots in certain plans to work with notebooks containing Intel's Centrino chip bundle. Certification essentially tries to ensure that the wide variety of notebooks will work with a particular hotspot and that two pieces of equipment can communicate in the environment in which they are placed.

In Boeing's Connexion system, laptops on a plane connect to two or three WiFi access point on the plane. The access points then connect to an onboard server, which then links to a satellite to get to the Internet. Occasionally, the service drops for a few minutes when the plane is between satellites.

You can also use it to make VoIP calls, said Keith Kressin, director of marketing for IntelÂ’s Mobile Platforms Group. So those that want to aggravate your fellow passengers but don't want to break the rules surrounding cellular phones on planes, speak away.

Approximately eleven airlines offer Connexion service, including Lufthansa and ANA. The service costs around $15 to $30, depending on the airline and route.

Intel has also started to kick off efforts to verify notebooks with 3G data services and with WiMax, Kressin said.

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