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Inflight Online goes to Consumer Electronics Show

21st December 2008 - 13:44 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


In a reflection of the growing significance of passenger carry-on devices, Inflight Online will make its first appearance at the world’s top consumer electronics event next month.

Editor Brendan Gallagher will chair a panel of leading figures in the air-to-ground connectivity industry at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on January 10.

Assembled to address the question “Using your wireless device on an airplane: all type and no talk?” will be Doug Backelin of American Airlines, Patrick Brannelly (Emirates), Dave Carson (Boeing), David Coiley (Inmarsat) and Stephan Egli (OnAir).

As manager of inflight communications and technology, Backelin is leading the first in-service trial of Aircell’s Gogo terrestrial air-to-ground broadband service. If passengers take to the service the airline plans to introduce it throughout the domestic fleet.

VP of passenger communications and visual services at Emirates, Brannelly went where most have so far feared to tread, selling the case for onboard cellphone to his management so successfully that the Dubai carrier was the first by a long way to introduce a fully commercial service. Emirates is now installing AeroMobile hardware at the rate of one aircraft every couple of weeks and plans to have its whole fleet outfitted by the end of next year.   

Carson works on cabin systems integration at Boeing and also co-chairs the RTCA’s SC-202 special committee, responsible for addressing the technical questions around the use of personal electronic devices in the cabin.

Formerly with onboard cellphone service provider AeroMobile, Coiley now heads the aeronautical business at mobile satellite operator Inmarsat. In that capacity he plays a key role in ensuring that OnAir, where Egli was recently appointed chief commercial officer, has the L-band satellite capacity it needs to deliver the cellphone services currently being trialled by TAP Portugal and bmi of the UK.

The panel was assembled under the aegis of the World Airline Entertainment Association, led by executive director Richard Owen. ““The panel represents the two leading airlines in North American broadband and inflight cellphone respectively, the cabin systems activities of one of the world’s two leading airliner manufacturers, the world’s leading L-band mobile satellite operator, and one of the two onboard cellphone service providers,” says Inflight Online’s Brendan Gallagher. “If they can’t do a good job of introducing this audience of consumer electronics experts to the issues surround inflight connectivity, nobody can.”  

The Shephard News Team


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