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July 21, 2014

Will Wi-Fi become standard on planes in two years?

French defence firm says passengers will get broadband in a couple of years

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Passengers on most short- and long-haul flights are expected to benefit from Wi-Fi "within a couple of years" thanks to advances in the wireless technology.

That is according to Jean-Bernard Levy, head of French defence firm Thales, who claims broadband services will be available for the price of "just a few pounds" per flight.

In an interview with The Telegraph during last week’s Farborough Airshow, he said: "I think we are on the eve of a big revolution. In the near future the cost of that broadband on that plane will fall dramatically so that you can watch TV, access Facebook, or check your bank account while you are on the flight and you’ll be charged like you are today in a hotel."

He added: "At the moment, you have a few expensive services that enable you to be connected to the world brought to you only by a few airlines on some long-range flights."

His comments come as British Airways said it would roll out super-fast and reliable Internet access on its UK domestic routes within three years.

Thales, which has 65,000 employees and operations in more than 56 countries, said it expects to start receiving overseas orders worth hundreds of millions of pounds for its Watchkeeper drone from next year.

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