Wireless in LA
A few observations from the recent Wireless Airport Association inaugural meeting in Los Angeles ...
• Wireless in airports can mean many things. It can mean Internet to passengers, management for airports, information for airlines. The problem today is that the payoff for passengers is generally agreed to be a year or two away.
Adding to the confusion is that there are no standards for products and means of transmitting data. Do you spend a gazillion dollars and go bust, or risk missing the boat by being conservative?
• Bigger time players are now coming into our sector: Michael Dell was in the welcoming video clip; Cisco Systems is diving right in. Strange by their absence are traditional airport players, Honeywell and Motorola.
• Much debate focused on the business models that should be used for Internet access. Who pays and in what format? Neptune free-access and advertising driven, or Wayport and Mobilestar subscription services?
• There is a clash of cultures here. When one speaker spoke of carriers, some in the audience were thinking United and American, others were thinking AT&T.
For more information, contact the American Association of Air-port Executives at (703) 824-0500 or www.airportnet.org.