updated 3/14/2011 2:14:10 PM ET 2011-03-14T18:14:10

Boeing has issued an alert after testing proved that Wi-Fi signals interfered with the navigational equipment on its 737 airplanes.

The aviation website Flightglobal reports that Honeywell Avionics Phase 3 Display Units (DU) used in Boeing’s commercial planes are susceptible to “blanking” – during which the navigational screens go totally blank -- as a result of in-aircraft Wi-Fi signals.

The DU blanking occurred during airline electromagnetic interference (EMI) testing, which covered a range between 100 MHz and 8 GHz. Wi-Fi signals operate at 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz; the testing levels exceeded “all normal scenarios,” Flightglobal wrote.

But Boeing is taking the news very seriously: according to Flightglobal, it has now stalled a proposed plan to outfit a new fleet of 777s with an in-flight high-speed Internet system called eXPhone.

[Cell Phones on Planes: The Risks Are Real]

Despite the security risks posed by the blanking navigation systems, some see the immediate loss of in-flight Wi-Fi and the restrictive policies against cell phones on planes as bigger problems.

“This is a major step back in enjoying in-flight Internet and mobile phone connectivity and needless to say, you’re at the mercy of your carrier’s equipment to keep yourself entertained during the flight. No ‘World of Warcraft’ at 40,000 feet, unfortunately,” technology blog Bright Side of News wrote (with tongue possibly planted firmly in cheek).

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