Machine Design

Wireless Internet access in the skies

In-flight Internet access may become a reality, say researchers at the University of Bradford in England.

The WirelessCabin project would let passengers access services via third-generation cell phones, PDAs, and laptop computers. These advanced wireless access technologies include a universal mobile telephone system for personal and data communications, a wireless local-area network for Internet services, and a personal-area network using Bluetooth protocol. Communication with the outside world is via a satellite, which interconnects with terrestrial telecommunication networks. Trials of the project will take place on a specially outfitted Airbus A340 plane.

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