United-Continental to offer in-flight connectivity fleet-wide

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Star Alliance member United-Continental intends to offer in-flight Internet connectivity across its entire mainline fleet, and the carrier has tapped Panasonic Avionics as a supplier, FlightglobalPro can reveal.

During an earnings conference call today, United-Continental CEO Jeff Smisek said United will offer a streaming video service on its Boeing 747 fleet and intends to begin rolling out "wireless Internet connectivity across our entire mainline fleet".

United-Continental has already selected LiveTV to provide Ka-band-based connectivity to the Continental portion of the domestic mainline fleet. However, multiple sources tell FlightglobalPro that United has selected Panasonic as the provider of Ku-band connectivity for United. The deal could also extend to United-Continental's long-haul aircraft.

Panasonic declined to comment. United-Continental could not be immediately reached for comment.

Panasonic's in-flight high-speed Internet offering operates over Ku-band satellites. In tapping both Panasonic and LiveTV for connectivity, United-Continental has decided to split it connectivity order, opting for Ku via Panasonic and Ka via LiveTV, a subsidiary of JetBlue.