WiFi connection and telecommunication have become a trend in ground-air connectivity for European and American airlines in recent years. The EU has approved in-flight cell phone calls, SMS, and email services in its airspace. Various countries are paying increasing attention to this market. It is reported that over one-third fo the trunkliners in the U.S. now provide internet access for Ground-Air Connectivity, with service charges ranging from several to over ten dollars per hour. This technology is also now popular in Europe with service charge at over 10 euros per hour. In face of the increasingly fierce global competition of the civial aviation market, the Chinese airline companies are also considering to provide similar internet access services just like what their foreign counterparts are doing now.
On July 3, 2013, passengers aboard CA4108, an Air China flight from Beijing bound for Chengdu, received greetings in-air from CAAC administrator Mr. Li Jiaxiang via the Weibo microblog, marking the debut of in-flight global satellite communication and internet access services offered by Chinese airlines. It means that the Chinese civial aviation industry has finally realized the Ground-Air Connectivity and got rid of the plight of isolated "network information island" after planes take off. Apart from Air China, Hainan Airlines also tested in-flight connectivity on board HU7137 (Beijing-Xi'an) with positive results. The Yunnan branch of China Eastern Airlines tested WiFi service on one of its flights. This is only part of the broader competition of network services amongst domestic airline companies. Giving the value-added service innovation being a rarity nowadays, the in-flight information service may well be a secret weapon for an airline company to differentiate itself among its competitors.
When many hurdles are gradually broken through by the increasingly sophisticated communication technologies, the dream of "in-flight WiFi connectivity" for business people and frequent air travellers are now being realized step by step. Industry analysts also agree that in-flight internet access will be an important part of air flight experience in the future. By the end of 2016, when all flights are upgraded with the internet access, the Ground-Air Real-Time Connectivity will become a new norm. The introduction of in-flight WiFi has opened a new business horizon that gives play to many new products. This new high-end market will definitely become a key battleground. There are emerging signs that major Internet companies including Tencent, Netease, and Sohu are all considering their engagement in this market.
With the technological breakthrough in in-flight connectivity and enormous support by related authorities and airline companies, Shanghai IRICHT Investment Development Co., Ltd. (IRICHT) will launch ICT2014 at New World Shanghai Hotel April 23-24th 2014, buidling on the great success of ICT2013. Airiline companies, satellite communication operators, avionics systems suppliers, inflight entertainment systems providers, inflight connectivity services providers, IT companies, onboard appliances suppliers, content providers, communication carriers, Internet companies, media companies, research institutions and universities will gather under the same roof to discuss the common topic of WiFi-enabled in-flight IT revolution and the resultant new business model 30,000 feet above the earth surface.
The event will be implemented by IRICHT. Lots of local airlines, satellite communication operators, integrated solutions providers，avonics systems providers, inflight entertainment systems providers, inflight connectivity services providers, have already show great interests in joining this event. To take part in the event, please contact the Marketing Dept: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 86-021-5169 2607. For more information, please visit: http://www.iricht.com/ict2014.