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Qantas Wi-Fi System Takes Off

Qantas has taken 140 of its staff on a flight to test its new in-flight Wi-Fi system, due to be installed across its domestic fleet around mid-year. So far the equipment has been installed on just one Boeing 737 – a job that took two weeks.

How did the test flight go? “It’s fair to say everyone got into the spirit of the experiment. We had 140 people on board and over 200 devices connected to the system,” says a Qantas media report.

“For a system that is still being tested and refined, it performed extremely well. Typical download speeds were between 7 and 12 megabits per second to each connected device. (You need about 1.5 Mbps to comfortably stream movies.)

“In the cockpit, our pilots accessed real-time weather on their iPads. This gave them more detail than they can get from short-range radars on the aircraft.

“Cabin crew tested a Qantas app designed to help manage people’s connecting flights if they are involved in a delay.”

Qantas says it is using data from the test flight to make final adjustments before inviting customers to test, then finally use the Wi-Fi system. at 30,000ft.

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