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Cruise Travel / Cunard / Queen Mary 2 / Transatlantic Travel / Inmarsat / Travel Tech / WiFi / At-Sea WiFi / Ships / Travel Tips / Viking River Cruises / → All Tags
At-sea WiFI is a beautiful thing, but this beauty doesn’t come without a price tag. Cruise ships around the world have offered connectivity from sea to shining sea for several years thanks to Inmarsat’s satellites buzzing about in space, and yet the cost of using even one hour of internet is shocking and, dare we say it, turning travelers away from oceangoing vacations.
There is hope, however; onboard a recent transatlantic voyage of Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, we hooked onto an internet signal every day, at all hours, from all over the ship, despite our location of “somewhere in the North Atlantic Ocean,” and came away with scores of ideas on how to keep those WiFi costs down while still logging on:
Airport News / FRA / WiFI / Airports / Travel Tech / Germany Travel / → All Tags
From New York City to Atlanta, some of the busiest airports in the world are finally flipping the switch on complimentary WiFi. It's better late than never, and we’re glad airports are finally getting the message. Now that complimentary connections are continuing to expand, its time to welcome's yet another major airport to the club.
Leave your credit card digits in your wallet, as Frankfurt Airport is now offering unlimited free WiFi to passengers 24 hours a day. Previously WiFi was limited to 60 minutes, but now you’re free to continue your time wasting—or work emails—until it's time to board that flight.
WiFi / Airport News / Airports / EWR / JFK / LGA / SWF / → All Tags
Okay—so it’s better than nothing, as we’re making some concourse connectivity progress when it comes to the technology offerings at airports in and around New York City.
JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark are now flipping the switch on complimentary WiFi; however, just note that usage will be limited to 30 minutes. That’s plenty of time to check-in on social media, or to update the boss to let her know that you’ve come down with a cold and won’t be into the office—perhaps because you're actually on the way to a long weekend away.
The new deal is all part of a plan by those folks in charge of the airports—the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. They also oversee things a little bit up the Hudson River as well, so the WiFi will also be an option at Stewart International Airport.
Nok Air / Airlines / WiFi / Airline News / In-Flight WiFi / In-Flight Entertainment / Low Cost Carriers / LCCs / Budget Travel / Tech Travel / Travel Tech / → All Tags
WiFi is scheduled to arrive is set to arrive at Nok Air sooner than later, and it sounds like Thaicom are the folks behind the in-flight Ku-band technology. Installations are moving quickly, and the system could be up and running as soon as this July or August. The plans are to start with six planes as soon as possible, and after that they’ll move into installations for 30 more.
We’ve been enjoying the wonders of in-flight WiFi for a few years now, but unfortunately those travelers doing their thing in the skies above Europe have not had the same pleasure. Thankfully it looks like things are about to change, as there are plans to flip the switch on some new—and speedy—in-flight connectivity across the pond.
Inmarsat is the company behind the new travel technology, and it sounds like their aiming to have things up and running by the end of 2016. Connections will have speeds in the 4G range, so things should be improved when compared to what we have here at home. All in all setting up the network should cost around $550 million, and that includes new satellites, new towers, and other bits and pieces related to the transmission process.
Free WiFi / Japan Travel / WiFi / Travel Tech / → All Tags
Finding free Wifi and avoiding high-priced connectivity fees have long been a challenge for travelers to Japan, but a solution is in the works as the Japanese government is currently trialing a program designed to provide foreign visitors with free public Wi-Fi.
The plan is to make it real easy on visitors by issuing them a Wifi card with a user name and password to access the system. When you arrive at the airport, there will be a counter at which you present your passport to get a wifi card. This counter has yet to become permanent in many airports, so be sure to ask where it is when you arrive. There are also locations within the cities, such as department stores, that can issue the cards.
Finding reliable WiFi while on the road is finally, hopefully as simple as opening up an app on your smartphone.
A handy new iPhone app helps users sniff out the fastest free wifi and 3G networks on the go. Rotten WiFi isn't just a tool to rate the performance of a signal; it's also a social network to warn potential network users of bad hotspots and redirect them to the best connections.
Whether you're in an airport, hotel, cafe, convention center or government building, you can easily find the fastest available free network and see what other visitors have said about it.
It’s never been a better time to board with fully charged electronic doodads, as carriers have started to start streaming stuff like never before. United is the latest carrier to use WiFi to share much more than just the internet, as now they’re sending programming right to your device.
Things are limited at this point, but United just started testing things out on certain flights to and from Hawaii. They’re working with—or just paying—Panasonic to get things up and running, as the plan is to beam and stream around 150 shows and movies from servers aboard the plane to your tablet, phone, or other thing with a screen.
Canada Travel / National Parks / WiFi / Tech Travel / Travel Tech / Nature Travel / Active Travel / → All Tags
Canada Parks is the group behind the new idea, as they’re responsible for keeping the signs looking good and taking out the tourist trash across almost 50 national parks and even more historic sites. Now they’re taking steps to improve the outdoor experience—at least in theory—as they’ll be installing WiFi hotspots across plenty of destinations.
Air China / WiFi / In-Fligh WiFi / Airlines / Airline News / China Travel / → All Tags
If you’re looking for access to WiFi on your next journey there’s a new carrier bringing in-flight connectivity to 35,000-feet. Air China just completed a couple test runs of their new travel technology, and it sounds like it may be worth a try from on high.
A pair of flights between spots like Beijing and Chengdu are part of the test, and the connection trials passed with flying colors. Passengers were encouraged to fire up mobile devices and computers, and you can probably guess how the rest of the story goes.
HotelChatter / Travel Tech / Hotels / WiFi / → All Tags
This is the week, you guys! Our awesome sister site HotelChatter.com has completed yet another (the 10th annual!) info-packed report on hotel WiFi, and all info is laid totally bare, free from flowcharts. If you've ever searched for a hotel and tried to figure out, in the hotel website's fine print, whether or not they charge for WiFi and how much, then this report is for you.
Actually, it's a report for anyone! Do you want to sit in a cozy hotel lobby, drink tea and get some work done? Crash in your room and catch up on your favorite blogs (hint hint)? Head to a hotel with free WiFi that you find on the report. There's even a section on hotel chains that offer MOAR wifi strength, for those times you need the best possible connection for Skype video conferences or Netflix streaming.
Check it all out here:
Checking out a city is always a little easier with the help of WiFi access, least of all to double-check direction in Google Maps. Thankfully Boston agrees, and it has started to flip the switch on city-wide connectivity. City officials have named the network "Wicked Free WiFi".
Up first is the Grove Hall neighborhood, encompassing about one and a half square miles and home to roughly 30,000 residents. This neighborhood was chosen as number one to provide decent speeds to those who might not necessarily be able to afford paying the premium for broadband at home, as city officials clearly recognize a resident's right to social media usage.