Monday, 26 November 2007

Has Lufthansa Wrapped Up Deal for Connexion Replacement?

While Lufthansa has yet to officially confirm how it will replace the in-flight connectivity service previously provided by now defunct Connexion by Boeing (CBB), industry insiders believe a deal is all but wrapped up.

One executive with deep knowledge of the industry says Lufthansa has apparently made a decision on its replacement for CBB and that it involves a partnership with T-Mobile.

The two firms are already well-acquainted. HotSpot by T-Mobile is available in nearly all Lufthansa lounges around the globe.

The launch customer for Connexion, Lufthansa issued a request for proposals for a Connexion replacement in February of this year, following Boeing’s decision last year to drop the system.

This summer the Wall Street Journal reported that T-Mobile, satellite operator SES Global and ViaSat, maker of wireless communication products, were in talks to provide an airborne broadband service to Lufthansa.

The airline has not yet announced its selection. But in-flight broadband providers are anxiously awaiting an official announcement from the German carrier, as its decision could have a significant impact on the broadband selection of other former Connexion operators.

Given that Lufthansa was Connexion's largest customer, the T-Mobile team "can very much get a head start" in offering a Ku band-based broadband solution to airlines, notes the executive.

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