Free in-flight email anywhere in the world

Kiteline World

What a funky antenna! Guess what? It’s going to help airlines offer basic in-flight email for free to passengers anywhere in the world.

Say what, RWG?

Well, JetBlue subsidiary LiveTV has combined its US-centric air-to-ground (ATG)-based Kiteline email service with the Iridium Openport satellite communications service – and that wild antenna – to create Kiteline World (see graph below).

Kiteline World slide 2.JPG

The Kiteline World solution, unveiled for the first time at the recent World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA) conference and exhibition, is so inexpensive (charged per MB of bandwidth) that it can be offered for free to passengers.

LiveTV estimates, for example, that it would cost as little as $95 for an airline to offer Kiteline World to a 200-seat aircraft on a seven-hour flight with 80% loads (estimated 30% take-up) and amortized over a five-year commitment. See chart below.

Kiteline World bandwidth.JPG

And Kiteline World is also truly global, even covering flights over the poles, says LiveTV.

Business aircraft operators will no doubt be interested in hearing about Kiteline World this week at NBAA too.

Now check out that funky antenna alongside the Kiteline radio! Beam me up, Scotty, and beam down my email :)

Kiteline World 2

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3 Responses to Free in-flight email anywhere in the world

  1. Wandering Aramean October 19, 2009 at 12:41 pm #

    WOW!!! That’s awesome. I used the Kiteline service once a couple weeks ago and wasn’t terribly impressed with it, in part because I was headed away from the coast so the service dropped out. Global coverage on the cheap will be an awesome option.

    Plus they’ve got Ka-band likely coming soon, right? These LiveTV folks might not be first to market, but they’re definitely delivering the goods.

  2. Bob October 19, 2009 at 12:51 pm #

    $95 and all the customer gets is email???

  3. Mushroom October 22, 2009 at 7:06 am #

    Agree with Bob.

    30% take-up is also very interesting. My reckoning is that casual users would rather be surfing facebook etc on their phones than be sending emails

    It looks like a bit of a late-entry “here’s what we came up with” so I’ll be curious as to how this turns out.

    Good scoop