Boeing's Connexion partners, Alenia Aerospazio and Mitsubishi Electric, have expanded their roles in the development of the US company's in-flight e-mail, internet and live television services.

The agreements, which follow completion of the Connexion system design review last month, will see Alenia and Mitsubishi provide Boeing with management and technical support for Connexion operations in Europe and Asia.

Alenia will provide satellite and transponder capacity for European Connexion coverage, support service roll-out and conduct aircraft modifications in Europe at its Aeronavali maintenance operation in Italy.

Mitsubishi will provide satellite capacity for Asian coverage.

Meanwhile, Boeing has signed up European sports network Eurosport as a content supplier for Connexion. Additional partners include CNBC, CNN Inflight, Loral Skynet and Matsushita Avionics Systems.

Boeing plans to start rolling out its broadband data services from the fourth quarter. Services will initially be available to airlines in North America, followed by European services from the third quarter of 2002, South America and Australia in 2003, and Asia and Africa services in 2004.

Source: Flight International