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October 31, 1999

Tenzing and Sita Join for In-Flight Surfing

By CBR Staff Writer

Tenzing Inc, a Seattle, Washington provider of what it calls in-flight email and global roaming ISP services has joined with the world’s largest supplier of integrated IT and telecoms serves to the airline industry, in a deal which it says will enable laptop users to send and receive email and surf the web from the sky.

Tenzing says the deal with Geneva-based Sita SC will offer services to Sita members (including more than 600 international and national airlines) via the Swiss company’s global ground to air communications network. Initially, airlines will be expected to offer ports to frequent travelers, enabling them to connect their laptops to Tenzing’s terrestrial ISP servers via the Sita network. Eventually, some aircraft manufacturers (such as Boeing and Airbus Industries – also Sita members) may build back seat internet terminals into aircraft, similar to the multimedia telephone and video handsets already offered by some air carriers.

Sita has been offering ground to air telephony and fax services for passengers for several years, and the service is now made available by some 30 airlines. The Tenzing powered service, which will include access to web pages cache to an onboard server, will be geared largely to the requirements of business travelers, and priced accordingly.

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