Connexion by Boeing receives FCC license
Posted: January 2, 2002

The Boeing Company has been granted a license by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that will enable passengers on airplanes to transmit and receive broadband data in flight, using its revolutionary Connexion by Boeing service.

Receipt of the landmark two-way license, the first of its kind in the broadband satellite services industry, will enable operators of commercial airliners and executive jets, such as private and government aircraft, to offer real-time, high-speed Internet and intranet access, television and e-mail above U.S. territory and waters.

"This license signals a new era for in-flight connectivity and further strengthens our efforts in the mobile economy," said Scott Carson, president of Connexion by Boeing. "For the first time in history, air travelers will be able to experience real time, in-flight connectivity comparable to the speeds and quality of service they expect on the ground."

The Connexion by Boeing application was subject to stringent review by U.S. government agencies that oversee spectrum usage. Under an unprecedented flight-test program, Connexion One, a specially equipped Boeing 737, gathered data to demonstrate that the service can operate without causing harmful interference to other spectrum users, in support of ongoing domestic and international regulatory activities.

"The license is the result of an extensive year-long application review and approval process conducted by the FCC and other U.S. government agencies," said Karen Gielen, Connexion by Boeing executive director of international regulatory affairs. "This is a tremendous boost for our continued efforts to roll out this service in the United States and, ultimately, around the world."

Connexion by Boeing is the market-leading initiative to bring commercial broadband data services to in-flight aircraft. The innovative venture combines the core strengths of the world's largest aircraft manufacturer with the company's capabilities in space-based communication technologies. Passengers flying in aircraft soon will be able to choose from a multitude of personalized real-time services, including Internet and firewall-protected intranet access, e-commerce, television and entertainment, transmission and receipt of data, shopping and travel and destination information. Airline operators also will benefit from in-flight access to aircraft and crew data. Boeing also is studying the potential applicability of Connexion's broadband in-flight data services for aviation security enhancements.

A prototype of the Connexion by Boeing service is currently available to the executive services market in the U.S., which includes operators of private and government aircraft. Connexion by Boeing also remains on track with leading European carrier Lufthansa to equip its long-haul fleet beginning with a prototype installation in late 2002 or early 2003.