We know about the OnAir/Row 44 chat and former OnAir chief Benoit Debain’s open admission that the Airbus/SITA joint venture would be game for such a tie-up.
But during the recent WAEA (APEX)-sponsored IFEC event in China, Row 44 president Gregg Fialcowitz reportedly said the firm is interested in partnering with other Ku-band providers, such as Panasonic Avionics.
Sally Gethin’s China IFEC Review quotes Fialcowitz as saying:
“Other providers have approached us about potential relationships. And we’re interested in all potential relationships primarily because we don’t think the world needs very many of these networks.
“There’s a precedent in the cellphone industry. Every cellphone operator roams on each other’s networks. We don’t believe the market is large enough to support many of these networks in fact possibly not more than one so you might see in the future providers figuring out how to co-operate and work with each other.”
I know what you’re worried about. If everyone starts dating and getting along, then we risk losing all the delicious tension of rivalry. But never fear. I’m sure we can generate some more in no time.
Speaking of China, there are some conflicting reports that Air China, China Southern and China Eastern plan to soon provide in-flight mobile connectivity. If true, well then it’s about time (ok, it’s understandable that the Asian market is gun-shy after Connexion by Boeing…who wouldn’t be, right?).
But what about in-flight television? Isn’t China prime for that as well?
“China is a great market for TV (Big country, great satellite with Chinasat 9, content already approved by the Govt). All the pieces are there. Now we just need an airline that wants to be cool and hip like JetBlue to launch the service,” says LiveTV.
Meanwhile, if Row 44 was a bird, it would not be a duck, but an Albatross of course. Here’s hoping the company brings that baby back to Long Beach in September.
(Photo at the top from Photon’s Flickr photo stream)