JetBlue Launches ViaSat-Enabled Ka-band In-Flight Broadband

FAA Boeing airlines connectivity

An Airbus 320 aircraft, licensed to use Fly-Fi. Photo: Airbus

[Via Satellite 12-13-13] In-flight connectivity options have increased with the launch of JetBlue’s Fly-Fi in-flight Wi-Fi service. Fly-Fi is designed to deliver high-quality Internet capable of serving 50 to 70 personal devices simultaneously.

The system – including a LiveTV portal, aircraft Wi-Fi system, and integration for JetBlue – is capable of delivering 12 Mbps or more to each connected passenger. The satellite-based system, Exede In The Air, can also operate on the ground, enabling airlines to take advantage of the recent FAA ruling allowing passengers to use their personal electronic devices at all stages of flight, with gate-to-gate Wi-Fi connections.

“There’s a simple reason why air travelers haven’t had access to fast broadband: Legacy technologies don’t enable a sufficient amount of bandwidth delivery to the plane at a cost that makes sense for airlines or consumers,” said Don Buchman, director of mobile broadband, ViaSat.

Exede In The Air transitions between Ka-band spot beams within the ViaSat1 footprint in flight to keep passengers connected. The complete network service is now FCC licensed in North America and FAA certified for operation on Airbus 320 and Boeing 737 aircraft.

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