May they rest in peace – the connectivity folks who came on the scene and lost loads of money, only to see their plans die. Our confident friends over at LiveTV have compiled a little picture of all the headstones. Oh and look, two current-day providers are also shown heading down the same road to perdition. I’ve done everyone a favour and blacked out the names of these two high-profile companies. As they say: “There but by the Grace of God…”
Now, what other little IFE&C sparklers came out of my trip to Florida last week? Here’s a few:
1) JetBlue airliners that are coming off-lease and into the hands of a Middle Eastern carrier will retain their LiveTV systems, which will initially support four channels of stored content. LiveTV sees the Middle East as a natural next step in its plan to expand live television customers, however.
2) An antenna to support LiveTV on Brazilian start-up Azul’s aircraft has been selected. And no. A vendor announcement has not yet been made (although LiveTV is contributing to the design).
3) Ku-band connectivity is a possible option for Canadian low-cost carrier WestJet, whose aircraft are equipped with LiveTV. Management at LiveTV says it is talking to WestJet about such a solution (part of its newly-announced three-pronged strategy) but “still has questions about how much people will pay”. Getting air-to-ground (ATG) connectivity up and running in Canada is going to take some time. The Government still needs to allot the spectrum to someone and then the towers need to be built. (Air Canada recently tapped ATG-based Aircell for connectivity. However, as yet this can only operate in US airspace).
4) LiveTV’s goal is to equip half the US domestic fleet with live television. It’s well on its way, having secured a customer for its latest generation live television product, the ultra-cool LTV3, and an LOI from another North American carrier. A third LOI for LTV3 is in the offing.