JetBlue plans to get with the program and offer in-flight broadband on 160 aircraft by 2012, according to a recent announcement. They are also claiming their partnership with ViaSat will create the industry’s best commercial aviation in-flight broadband, thanks to ViaSat’s Ka-band satellite technology.
“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,” said Dave Barger, JetBlue chief executive officer.The new broadband will use the Ka-band antenna’s and SurfBeam modems on the airlines Embraer E190 and Airbus A320 aircraft. LiveTV will oversee the implementation. Several competitors (Delta Air Lines, Virgin America, Southwest, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, United, Continental, and others) to the airlines already offer in-flight Wi-Fi, using different implementations.
This is not the company’s first foray into in-flight Wi-Fi, however. BetaBlue launched in 2007 on Airbus A320s, offering e-mail, Amazon shopping, and instant messaging capabilities.