Aircell has one. Row 44′s got one too. So does Panasonic Avionics. And now, lo, we have ViaSat, which has been awarded the coveted golden ticket for scoring a significant in-flight connectivity deal with JetBlue.
Who willprove to be the triumphant Charlie Bucket, surviving the pitfalls ofthe high-speed connectivity factory? Time will tell. But it’s looking likely that we’ll have more than just one winner (and more players yet to join the game!)
Props to our new player in the commercial space, ViaSat.
Here are a few fun facts about the ViaSat/JetBlue/LiveTV deal courtesy of ViaSat:
Will you need a second antenna or will you use LiveTV technology?
Our objective is to integrate the new Ka-band two-way antenna components along with the existing TV antenna system within the current radome envelope.
Any chance this new technology will interfere with JetBlue’s DirectTV offering?
LiveTV will ensure this new system will co-exist peacefully with our current system.
What kind of relationship between ViaSat and LiveTV is contemplated?
ViaSat and LiveTV are open to exploring other business opportunities.
Is LiveTV investing in ViaSat?
We’re not ruling out any potential relationship, but have nothing to report at this time.
What capex is needed for installation? Ongoing costs?
We will use 2011 to scope the product and prepare for installations beginning in 2012. No specifics at this early stage.
I’ll have more to write about this deal next week when I come up for air (i.e. my Q&A doesn’t end there).