Connexion by Boeing
Connexion by Boeing was an in-flight online Internet connectivity service from Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

. This service allowed travellers to access a high-speed internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 connection while on board a plane in flight through a wired Ethernet
Ethernet is a family of computer networking technologies for local area networks commercially introduced in 1980. Standardized in IEEE 802.3, Ethernet has largely replaced competing wired LAN technologies....

 or a wireless 802.11 Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi or Wifi, is a mechanism for wirelessly connecting electronic devices. A device enabled with Wi-Fi, such as a personal computer, video game console, smartphone, or digital audio player, can connect to the Internet via a wireless network access point. An access point has a range of about 20...

 connection. Connexion by Boeing was formed as a separate business unit of The Boeing Company. Major development on the service commenced with a partnership agreement between United Airlines
United Airlines
United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees (which includes the entire holding company United Continental...

, Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

, and American Airlines
American Airlines
American Airlines, Inc. is the world's fourth-largest airline in passenger miles transported and operating revenues. American Airlines is a subsidiary of the AMR Corporation and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas adjacent to its largest hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport...

 on June 13, 2001. Lufthansa joined the partnership as the International launch customer on June 17, 2001. United, Delta, and American subsequently withdrew from the partnership after the 9/11 terrorist attacks due to the severe drop in airline travel that occurred after the attacks.

The infrastructure used a phased array
Phased array
In wave theory, a phased array is an array of antennas in which the relative phases of the respective signals feeding the antennas are varied in such a way that the effective radiation pattern of the array is reinforced in a desired direction and suppressed in undesired directions.An antenna array...

Antenna (radio)
An antenna is an electrical device which converts electric currents into radio waves, and vice versa. It is usually used with a radio transmitter or radio receiver...

 Ku band
Ku band
The Kμ band is a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum in the microwave range of frequencies. This symbol refers to —in other words, the band directly below the K-band...

Antenna (radio)
An antenna is an electrical device which converts electric currents into radio waves, and vice versa. It is usually used with a radio transmitter or radio receiver...

 manufactured by either Boeing or Mitsubishi Electric Corporation on the aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

, leased satellite
In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavour. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the Moon....

In telecommunication, the term transponder has the following meanings:...

s, and ground stations. The service provided downlink speeds of up to 20Mbit/s and uplink speeds up to 2 Mbit/s. Speed varied due to many different factors including resource availability, aircraft location, and regulatory restrictions. A license from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission
The Federal Communications Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, created, Congressional statute , and with the majority of its commissioners appointed by the current President. The FCC works towards six goals in the areas of broadband, competition, the spectrum, the...

 (FCC) was first received on December 27, 2001. The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 subsequently on July 24, 2002 granted Boeing a license for operating over its territory. Other nations followed in granting operating licenses for the service. The service coverage included North America, North Atlantic, Europe, the Middle East, Northern Pacific, Australia, and Asia. While other providers have provided in-flight internet, Connexion by Boeing accomplished it first for flights over water.

Ground stations were located in Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island is a large island in British Columbia, Canada. It is one of several North American locations named after George Vancouver, the British Royal Navy officer who explored the Pacific Northwest coast of North America between 1791 and 1794...

 Canada, Ibaraki
Ibaraki, Ibaraki
is a town located in Higashiibaraki District, Ibaraki, Japan.The town was set to merge with Mito, Ibaraki on December 8, 2007, but following the election of a new mayor in April 2007, these plans were abandoned....

 Japan, Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 Russia, Littleton, Colorado
Littleton, Colorado
Littleton is a Home Rule Municipality contained in Arapahoe, Douglas, and Jefferson counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. Littleton is a suburb of the Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Statistical Area. Littleton is the county seat of Arapahoe County and the 20th most populous city in the state of...

 US, and Leuk
Leuk is a municipality in the district of Leuk in the canton of Valais in Switzerland.Since it controls access to the Gemmi Pass, it had some importance from the time of Roman Raetia. The Leukerbad thermal baths are just North of Leuk, towards the pass...

 Switzerland. Two supporting data centers were also used to control the service. These were located in Kent, Washington
Kent, Washington
Kent is a city located in King County, Washington, United States, and is the third largest city in King County and the sixth largest in the state. An outlying suburb of Seattle, Kent is also the corporate home for companies such as REI and Oberto Sausage...

 and Irvine, California
Irvine, California
Irvine is a suburban incorporated city in Orange County, California, United States. It is a planned city, mainly developed by the Irvine Company since the 1960s. Formally incorporated on December 28, 1971, the city has a population of 212,375 as of the 2010 census. However, the California...


The service was first commercially demonstrated onboard two Boeing 747
Boeing 747
The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial airliner and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide-body ever produced...

 aircraft that were operated by Lufthansa and British Airways in 2003. Service was provided between Frankfurt Airport
Frankfurt Airport
Frankfurt Airport may refer to:Airports of Frankfurt, Germany:*Frankfurt Airport , the largest airport in Germany*Frankfurt Egelsbach Airport, a general aviation airport*Frankfurt-Hahn Airport , a converted U.S...

 - Washington Dulles and London Heathrow - New York JFK.
Connexion by Boeing was first launched as a commercial service May 17, 2004 with Lufthansa German Airlines
Deutsche Lufthansa AG is the flag carrier of Germany and the largest airline in Europe in terms of overall passengers carried. The name of the company is derived from Luft , and Hansa .The airline is the world's fourth-largest airline in terms of overall passengers carried, operating...

. Later in 2004, ANA
All Nippon Airways
, also known as or ANA, is one of the largest airlines in Japan. It is headquartered at the Shiodome City Center in the Shiodome area in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. It operates services to 49 destinations in Japan and 35 international routes and employed over 14,000 employees as of May 2009...

, Japan Airlines
Japan Airlines
is an airline headquartered in Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan. It is the flag carrier of Japan and its main hubs are Tokyo's Narita International Airport and Tokyo International Airport , as well as Nagoya's Chūbu Centrair International Airport and Osaka's Kansai International Airport...

, and SAS
Scandinavian Airlines System
Scandinavian Airlines or SAS, previously Scandinavian Airlines System, is the flag carrier of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and the largest airline in Scandinavia....

 signed on to the service. Other airlines which launched Connexion by Boeing service in 2005 include China Airlines
China Airlines
China Airlines is both the flag carrier and the largest airline of Republic of China . Although not directly state-owned, the airline is owned by China Airlines Group, which is owned by the China Aviation Development Foundation...

, Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines Limited is the flag carrier airline of Singapore. Singapore Airlines operates a hub at Changi Airport and has a strong presence in the Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia, and "Kangaroo Route" markets...

, Asiana Airlines
Asiana Airlines
Asiana Airlines Inc. is one of South Korea's two major airlines, along with Korean Air. Asiana has its headquarters in Asiana Town in Osoe-dong, Gangseo-gu, Seoul...

, and Korean Air
Korean Air
Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd. , operating as Korean Air, is both the flag carrier and the largest airline of South Korea, with global headquarters located in Seoul, South Korea. Korean Air's international passenger division and related subsidiary cargo division together serve 130 cities in 45...

. In the later months of 2005, El-Al Israel Airlines and Etihad Airlines offered the service. In 2005 Connexion by Boeing launched the first in-flight live streaming TV service on an international route on Singapore Airlines, to be expanded to all current airlines in the first quarter of 2006. The service provided four channels of live TV to each aircraft, and available TV programming varied depending on geographical location. Flying out of Germany, the service provided access to live streaming TV for CNBC (Europe), EurosportNews, BBC World and EuroNews. MSNBC was available for flights over North America. Microsoft's Windows Media
Windows Media
Windows Media is a multimedia framework for media creation and distribution for Microsoft Windows. It consists of a software development kit with several application programming interfaces and a number of prebuilt technologies, and is the replacement of NetShow technologies.The Windows Media SDK...

 technology was used to generate the multicast
In computer networking, multicast is the delivery of a message or information to a group of destination computers simultaneously in a single transmission from the source creating copies automatically in other network elements, such as routers, only when the topology of the network requires...

 TV streams, and users had to have Windows Media Player
Windows Media Player
Windows Media Player is a media player and media library application developed by Microsoft that is used for playing audio, video and viewing images on personal computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system, as well as on Pocket PC and Windows Mobile-based devices...

 installed to watch them.

Original prices varied from airline to airline, but were typically $9.95 for one hour of access, $14.95 for less than three hours of access, $19.95 for 3 to 6 hours of access, and $29.95 for unlimited access. Various payment options were allowed: major credit cards, mobile phone, hotspot accounts and even frequent flyer miles. In an effort to get more passengers to use the service, new pricing was announced in January 2006.

Boeing offered free service starting on October 2, 2006 as part of its plan to discontinue the service on December 31, 2006.

The service had a live helpdesk chat feature available for customers who have troubles with their connections. Connexion sponsors the business travel blog, InFlightHQ.

Connexion by Boeing also extended its internet service to include the maritime market in 2005. The first maritime vessels equipped with Connexion by Boeing service were provisioned in 2006.

The business unit also developed a small business jet version of its service in a partnership with Rockwell Collins
Rockwell Collins
Rockwell Collins, Inc. is a large United States-based international company headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, primarily providing aviation and information technology systems and services to governmental agencies and aircraft manufacturers.- History :...


On January 16, 2006 Boeing also certified other companies such as Korean Air based in South Korea to carry out the Connexion by Boeing modification.

On June 26, 2006 it became public that Boeing was exploring selling or shutting down Connexion By Boeing, having failed to attract sufficient customers. The lack of sufficient customers was speculated to be a direct result of the U.S. domestic carriers pulling from agreements with Connexion after 9/11. While the European market thrived on the service, no U.S. domestic carriers were able to justify the approximate $500,000 USD per plane investment and the weight cost of the additional hardware.

On August 17, 2006, Boeing announced that it would discontinue its Connexion service, stating that, "the market for this service has not materialized as had been expected."

While the consumer service offered by CBB officially ended December 31, 2006 at midnight, Connexion's government contracts for the same service to U.S. Government planes continue under the new name of Boeing Broadband Satcom Network (BBSN) and likely will for the next several years.

See also

  • Gogo Inflight Internet
    Gogo Inflight Internet
    Gogo provides in-flight broadband Internet service, streaming video and other connectivity services for commercial and business aircraft. In June of 2011, the company formally changed its name from Aircell to Gogo as part of a rebranding effort...

  • OnAir
    Incorporated in February 2005, OnAir is a joint venture with SITA and Airbus. OnAir is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and has operations in Seattle and Montreal and sales offices in London, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai....

  • AeroMobile
    AeroMobile was established as a joint venture between ARINC and Telenor in 2006 and since January 2010, AeroMobile is a wholly owned subsidiary of Telenor...

  • Panasonic Avionics
    Panasonic Avionics Corporation
    Panasonic Avionics Corporation is a subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation and is headquartered in Lake Forest, California with major business functions also shared with the former headquarters located in Bothell, WA.Established in 1980, the product engineering and development departments are...

  • Row 44
    Row 44
    Row 44 is a Westlake Village, California-based company providing in-flight broadband connectivity for the passengers, cockpit and crew of commercial aircraft...

  • ASTRA2Connect Maritime Broadband
    ASTRA2Connect Maritime Broadband
    ASTRA2Connect Maritime Broadband is a two-way satellite broadband Internet service for use on private boats and commercial ships throughout European waters....

External links

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