This week Connexion by Boeing, a subsidiary of The Boeing, announced a deal with Wi-Fi hot spot aggregator iPass.
The deal will give iPass customers Wi-Fi connectivity while flying and Boeing will get a partner that knows how to sell service contracts for hot spot connectivity to business travelers.
Connexion by Boeing provides Wi-Fi access throughout the passenger plane cabin with 20Mbps split over four channels inbound and 1Mb for downlink. Each channel is dedicated to various applications, such as passenger connectivity, streaming applications like TV, a portion for airline applications, and the last 5Mb dedicated to future growth, voice over IP for example.
Ipass is an aggregator that sells connectivity on a companywide basis or to individuals. It has deals with all the major hot spot providers like Wayport and T-Mobile USA so that a user can travel to and from various airports and hotels and have a single sign on and a single bill at the end of the month.
Although when first announced, Connexion by Boeing president Scott Carson, was emphatic about the company managing this service on their own -- from installation and content provisioning, to running the call centers, billing, and branding, in partnering with iPass the company appears to have changed its strategy.
The deal will open up to Boeing to over 500,000 unique iPass users on a monthly basis, according to David Friedman, vp of marketing and direct sales at Connexion by Boeing.
The agreement focuses on the enterprise customer, according to Jon Russo, vice president of marketing at iPass. Companies like General Motors, Cargill, Deere and Company, currently use iPass software for hot spot connectivity.
Ipass covers about 50 percent of all Wi-Fi hot spot locations in the US and 25 percent globally, said Russo.
Boeing launched its service in May with Deutsche Lufthansa and is rolling the service out on a route by route basis. No US carriers have officially announced the service to date.