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July 08, 2013

Row 44 Unveils Inflight Offering for Southwest Airlines

By Carolyn J Dawson, TMCnet Contributor

Row 44, an ancillary of Global Eagle, has entered into a strategic partnership with Southwest Airlines. A novel inflight application called ‘TV Flies Free’ will be delivered by Row 44 to Southwest Airlines. The inflight offering will allow passengers to watch real-time TV for no extra cost, along with a minimum of 50 on-demand shows all streamed straight to their personal devices by DISH.

Row 44 functions its inflight connectivity service with a network of Ku-band satellites. The beam design of Ku-band technology can receive, carry and deliver real-time television streams in a solitary beam. Apart from offering reliable, global coverage for WiFi (News - Alert) connectivity, Ku-band can offer and support real-time television programming to airlines in an affordable manner. 

The real-time TV platform on Southwest was initially unveiled by Row 44 during summer of 2012. Following a triumphant proof-of-concept project, the application was unveiled on all WiFi-equipped Boeing (News - Alert) 737-700 and -800 aircrafts.

In a statement, John LaValle, CEO of Global Eagle Entertainment, said, "This trailblazing partnership is a validation of our industry-leading technology and our integrated content and connectivity platform. This new program reflects the ability of our unique platform to meet the evolving needs of our customers and the millions of travelers they serve. We look forward to working with Southwest and DISH on this truly market-leading promotion."

According to Kevin Krone, CMO of Southwest Airlines, the organization is in the process of innovating and developing the on-board customer experience. The organization initially commenced with W-iFi and now has extended to television. The latest deal allows customers to access television for no extra cost. This latest offer is another way in which Southwest delivers additional value while in air.

The satellite network design has been developed by Row 44 in association with Hughes Network Systems (News - Alert), LLC.  Paul Gaske, executive vice president and general manager at the North American Division of Hughes, said, "Our relationship with Row 44 has afforded both enterprises the opportunity to deliver true innovation to inflight entertainment. As a pioneer in high-speed satellite Internet technology and services, Hughes is an ideal partner for Row 44, and we look forward to continuing to innovate and push the limits of in-flight entertainment and communications (IFEC) alongside them." 

Edited by Alice Koganova

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