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Mitsubishi, Boeing team up to get airline passengers online

Japanese electronics maker Mitsubishi Electric Corp. will manufacture antennas for an in-flight service from Boeing Co. that will give passengers access to the Internet.

Boeing senior vice president Scott Carson refused to disclose the dollar value of the deal with Mitsubishi on the key component for Connexion by Boeing, which allows fliers to access information for entertainment and business.

The service using the Mitsubishi antenna won't be available until late 2003, but a test service for commercial flights using Boeing-designed antenna for flights in continental United States is set to begin in January 2003, Carson said.

"It's about choice. It's about tomorrow. It's about a good partnership we're excited about," he told reporters at a Tokyo hotel. "We can't imagine a better partner."

About 400 of the Mitsubishi antennas will be manufactured in the first year with demand likely to grow tenfold in a decade, Carson said.

But competition is expected to intensify in Net services for the jet set in coming years. Boeing officials said they wanted to ensure they keep an edge over similar offerings from rivals.

News source: The Nando Times - Mitsubishi, Boeing team up to get airline passengers online

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