We’re pleased to announce today a definitive agreement with ViaSat to deploy the first Ka-band commercial aviation broadband network using ViaSat-1, the world’s highest capacity Ka-band satellite. The agreement formalizes the memorandum of understanding, entered into last September, in which the companies announced their intention to create the industry’s best in-flight broadband for commercial aviation, using ViaSat’s innovative Ka-band satellite technology. Ka-band has the ability to offer higher transmission speeds, more bandwidth for each customer, and more attractive airtime pricing than other high-speed in-flight Internet access alternatives. The agreement includes an order valued at over $30 million for Ka-band airborne terminals and services to outfit our fleet of more than 170 aircraft.
Under the agreement, ViaSat will provide satellite broadband terminals for installation on our E190 and A320 aircraft along with two-way transmission bandwidth services using the WildBlue satellite broadband network, including the high-capacity ViaSat-1 satellite. We will be the first airline to receive the ViaSat Ka-band system, and those initial installations are expected to be quickly followed by deployment onboard the Continental Airlines fleet. Installations are expected to begin in 2012.
The system, the first of its kind for commercial aviation, must be certificated by the Federal Aviation Administration. LiveTV will manage the certification, integrate the ViaSat broadband and related components onboard our aircraft, and provide the Wi-Fi enabled services into the cabin.