September 18, 2012

Ka-Band: This Won’t Be Your Grandfather’s Wi-Fi

Robin Hayes, our Chief Commercial Officer, announced yesterday at the Low Cost Carrier conference in London that our intention is to launch our first Wi-Fi enabled aircraft in early 2013 and that we will have a free basic Wi-Fi service to start.

We know there already are many carriers out there with connectivity, but we also know something else: If our customers are impatient with our speed to market with a solution, they’re likely also frustrated with the level of service they’re getting on the other guys. If you have tried one of those other products, you know what we’re talking about. You’d never pay those kind of prices for that level of service on the ground, why would you take it in the air?

Rather than jump on the bandwagon of a product that can barely handle the usage needs of today’s travelers, we decided to look to where the demands are headed. With more people traveling with more gadgets (hello tablet users!), demanding faster speed connections, we’re willing to take the short term pain for long term gains. As an airline that take innovation to new heights, we believe that our inflight Wi-Fi should be heads and shoulders above the rest. We think it will be worth the wait.

As such, we partnered with Live TV and ViaSat to build something from the stratosphere down that, like all of our products and services, will provide the best possible customer experience. The Ka-band satellite we launched last October is the latest generation, with capacity equal to 100 last-generation Ku-band satellites. It’s smarter, newer, cheaper and better than anything on the market today for commercial aviation. We plan to make JetBlue the very first commercial airline to offer this product on board, at altitude!

Learn more about our agreement with ViaSat.

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