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October 06, 2010

In-Flight WiFi Broadband Boarding JetBlue Airways

By Jai C.S., TMCnet Contributor

ViaSat, Inc., a producer of satellite and other digital communication products, in association with the American airline, JetBlue Airways, announced the intent to provide in-flight broadband access and other services for customers on JetBlue's fleet of more than 160 aircraft using ViaSat (News - Alert) advanced Ka-band satellites. 

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"JetBlue is the perfect partner to introduce our next generation ViaSat-1 broadband network to the commercial aviation market," said Mark Dankberg (News - Alert), CEO and chairman at ViaSat, in a press release. "JetBlue is famous for customer service and in-flight entertainment. The breakthrough bandwidth economics of ViaSat-1 extends the passenger internet experience beyond just e-mail and web pages and creates a world of possibilities for personalized broadband entertainment. This is exactly the type of application and user experience that we believe will help transform the satellite broadband industry," Dankberg added.

As per the terms of this agreement, ViaSat will provide Ka-band antenna components and SurfBeam2 modems for installation on the airline's EMBRAER E190 and Airbus A320 aircraft types along with two-way transmission bandwidth services using the WildBlue-1 and high-capacity ViaSat-1 satellites.

JetBlue subsidiary, LiveTV LLC, will manage the integration of the ViaSat broadband and related components onboard the aircraft, as well as provide the WiFi (News - Alert) enabled services into the overall cabin experience.

"This system will be designed for the 21st Century, not just for today's personal connectivity needs, but with the bandwidth to expand to meet tomorrow's needs as well," commented Dave Barger, CEO of JetBlue. "In just the three years since we launched BetaBlue, the first commercial aircraft with simple messaging capability, technology has advanced by generations. Rather than invest in current technology, designed to transmit broadcast video and audio, we elected to partner with ViaSat to create broadband functionality worthy of today's interactive personal technology needs," Barger added.


Jai C.S. is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Jai's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jaclyn Allard