Following changes to in-flight wi-fi regulations, airlines are starting to rollout their new connectivity services.
Low-cost US domestic airline JetBlue Airways, is the first to use high-speed Ka-band satellite connectivity with the launch of Fly-Fi™, its branded inflight internet product. As the next-generation inflight Wi-Fi, Fly-Fi™ for the first time brings travellers real broadband internet in the sky and the same at-home internet speeds they are accustomed.
JetBlue Fly-Fi Ka-band satellite connectivity is eight times faster than older, slower inflight connections offered on other U.S. airlines. During the beta period rollout, JetBlue will offer free basic web browsing on board, called Simply Surf, on Fly-Fi equipped aircraft through June 2014. In addition, JetBlue offers a live video streaming high-bandwidth plan, Fly-Fi Plus, at $9 per hour for applications like streaming movies or large downloads. JetBlue has partnered with its inflight entertainment and connectivity subsidiary LiveTV as well as satellite provider ViaSat to bring Fly-Fi to life.
Southwest Airlines announced on 20th November that all customers may use small portable electronic devices (PEDs) in “airplane mode” from gate to gate – this means the Customers may use the airline’s onboard WiFi, which is available on the majority of the airline’s fleet. Customers will now have the ability to stay connected from the time they step onboard a Southwest plane to the time they exit. Southwest is the only airline that offers a gate-to-gate connectivity on the majority of its fleet.
The use of portable devices was a factor in Southwest’s initial WiFi investment, and the airline is pleased that Customers now have the opportunity to utilize industry-leading satellite WiFi throughout their entire trip. The extended use of service on Southwest’s WiFi-equipped aircraft is available at the same low price of $8 per device, all day, including stops and connections. Customers can now enjoy free live TV compliments of DISH® and $5 movies throughout their flights with no interruptions. Customers do not need to purchase WiFi in order to access movies or TV.