JetBlue Airways subsidiary LiveTV’s new Kiteline World solution was heralded by at least one senior level industry executive as among the three most exciting bright new things to come out of the recent World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA) conference and exhibition in Palm Springs, California. The other two, said our senior executive, were Panasonic’s Fusion seat with integrated IFEC and The IMS Company’s RAVE platform.
But a claim made this week by LiveTV’s head of marketing Mike Moeller about the price of Iridium-based Kiteline World in comparison to Inmarsat-supported service hasn’t received such a welcoming reception from another industry executive, Inmarsat’s head of marketing aeronautical business, Lars Ringertz.
So what did Moeller say?
Moeller told me that, for the general aviation space, LiveTV is taking orders with a full system cost (antenna down to Wi-Fi in cabin) for less than $100,000. “We believe this provides a very competitive price solution compared to Inmarsat of approximately one fourth of their cost,” he said.
And how did Ringertz respond to that?
“I don’t know where they get their pricing from,” he said. “There are a number of Inmarsat hardware manufacturers, which are selling the whole kit for under $100,000 and that’s just list price so why would you go for a limited solution when you can get a single-channel SwiftBroadband solution, which offers you all the opportunities of not only doing email, but Wi-Fi in the cabin and Internet?”
Ringertz also pointed me to provider Thrane & Thrane’s SwiftBroadband kit, the Aero-SB Lite, which “enables cost effective broadband suitable for the widest range of aircraft possible”, according to Thrane & Thrane.
Thrane & Thrane’s product marketing manager Jennifer Marts was kind enough to give us a look at the firm’s kit from the NBAA show floor (see above).
So, apart from some lovely drama provided by the IFEC world from time to time (which RWG enjoys highlighting…because…well…it’s fun, okay? Would you deny me my bit of fun? Would you?), what’s the very clear message from all these marketing heads?
Get your kit on!