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Wi-Fi takes to the skies

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WirelessG announced today that South Africa’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has approved WirelessG & Row 44’s application to install its in-flight Wi-Fi enabling equipment on board South African Commercial Aircraft.

Users will soon be able to use Wi-Fi in flights (image: stock.xchng)

This will enable WirelessG to operate its G-Connect broadband services aboard commercial aircraft in South African skies.

“Although we still await quality assurance of the final installation, the CAA is proud to announce its consent for the use of this technology in South Africa especially as it is a South African company that will exclusively offer the service,” says Subash Devkaran, Senior Manager for Aircraft Certification at CAA.

“This application is the first of its kind in Africa and will enhance the value proposition offered in the airline industry. It is not only the first time, but internationally very unique that a telecommunications company gets involved in the airline industry to such an extent where broadband will be supplied as part of a converged telecommunications service,” says Devkaran.

Devkaran stated that although this new innovation will contribute greatly to South African industrial competitiveness in the global arena, the CAA’s first and foremost concern still remains passenger safety.

“Given the fact that it was an extensive process to get the technology approved by various authorities, this consent by the CAA can be seen as the most critical. It finally provides certainty and credibility to all stakeholders involved. The WirelessG in-flight initiative became a critical success factor in our long term strategy that was already initiated in 2008. The launch of in-flight Wi-Fi will solidify our position as a unique broadband provider in the South African market,” says Carel van der Merwe, Chief Executive Officer of WirelessG.

Staff writer

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