Microsoft Corp. wants people to have even more broadband connectivity in flight—and could be positioning itself to expand its cloud and Internet of Things offerings to service the airline industry, according to a recent filing with the Federal Communications Commission.
Microsoft asked the FCC to allow unlicensed devices to operate on high-frequency spectrum airwaves in the 60 gigahertz (GHz) band as part of the commission's “spectrum frontiers” proceeding (GN Docket No. 14-177), which is looking at ways to open up more spectrum for commercial use to support the next generation of mobile networks, known as 5G.
Powerful data processing and cloud computing are expected to be part of the underlying structure of the next wave of networks. Microsoft is among the top three providers of cloud and data storage solutions in the U.S. along with Amazon Inc. and Apple Inc., according to Bloomberg Intelligence.
If the FCC approves a notice of proposed rulemaking to make four bands of millimeter airwaves above 24 GHz available to private companies to operate in, it could provide a chance for Microsoft to supply airlines in the same way AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless Inc. compete to provide connectivity to automobile manufacturers .