How mobile broadband started
Once upon a time, we started with computers which were slow, bulky and in order to be connected to the Internet, you needed a connection through physical wiring. That automatically limited the use of the Internet and we were able to use it only in our offices or homes. Of course, innovations took place and the modern trends engulfed the computer technology and many improvements were made. Nowadays, there is mobile broadband and that is the thing which allows you to surf the Internet no matter where you are – even on a plane!
Mobile broadband on a plane – what is that? When people say that nowadays you can access the Internet from anywhere they are most certainly not kidding. Being able to surf the global web during a long flight is a proof of the statement that you have access anywhere at the tip of your fingers. The first attempt to implement mobile broadband in airplanes was made years ago. However, at the time the demand was not significant and this idea did not see a lot of support from the customers. Therefore, it was abandoned for the time being. However, nowadays the times have certainly changed and airlines offer such services for longer flights or are at least considering the options seriously. This speaks of the maturity of mobile broadband’s evolution.
Why is mobile broadband offered on airplanes?
People nowadays are used to staying connected to the Internet everywhere they go because they have smartphones, tablets and all kinds of other Internet enabled devices. Almost everyone has a computer at their home and most people cannot work without a computer. Even some fridges have Internet access! Considering this great dependence of the modern people on the Internet, being on a long flight without any access to the Internet is almost unthinkable. For some it might be relaxing to have some time to just lay back and think about their life, but others find this downtime to be quite frustrating and fruitless. The latter applies especially to businessmen and businesswomen. Once you get on the plane, you need to rely on the airline to stay connected and this motivates airlines to develop better technologies for mobile broadband.
Who are airlines targeting with this new and attractive service?
The logical answer would be mostly business people. Why is that so? Because their work is mostly time-sensitive and the downtime could mean the difference between losing and winning a huge deal. Therefore, they are certainly the ones who will be most willing to pay a small extra price in order to have access to the Internet while they are on a plane. However, others also enjoy this great new service. A long flight can be quite frustrating and boring so being able to be engulfed by your favorite activities such as chatting with friends or reading the news can be quite relaxing and can even make some people pick a flight over driving, for example.
James Lucas works for one of the largest mobile broadband (the Danish term is mobilt bredbånd) providers in Western Europe.