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Networking Travel

Qatar WiFi

I flew from Doha to Brussels on a brand new (0.4 year old) Dreamliner.

There is on board WiFi, and it’s unlike those I’ve seen before on Lufthansa.

The WiFi is provided by OnAir¬†(owned by SITA, ex Airbus), a Swiss-Merican company using what cell towers (that’s what their landing page said — but their website says satellites + and it worked over the sea).

2015-06-11

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I only had a tablet, so very limited information I could dig.

  • There is a private SSID active at all times (QTR<plane registration>, in my case it was QTRA7-BCT)
  • Once in the air, a new SSID pops up, called¬†“Oryx Comms” (Oryx being Qatar’s entertainment system, including personal movie/music displays)
  • IP of the gateway is 172.16.64.1
  • Blocks all and redirects you to a landing page
  • Landing page https://web.archive.org/web/20130802092743/http://onboard.onair.aero — which seems to be locally hosted in the airplane (it was too fast to be over satellite).
  • Price is exuberant
  • End user license agreement was dodgy: “personal information logged in Switzerland and/or US of A”, “some data retained for quality improvements and better services”, “Data not given to third parties, with the exception of XYZ”, “both anonymous and personal information used”.
  • More interestingly: while above a certain height, there was cell coverage inside the plane: “OnAir” network (roaming), allowing you to text and call from the plane.

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