JetBlue Airways selects ATS for installation of Ka-band satellite
Sep 12, 2013 (MarketLine via COMTEX) --
JetBlue Airways has signed a contract with Aviation Technical Services, or ATS, to install next-generation Ka-band satellite Wi-Fi technology on JetBlue's fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft.
According to JetBlue Airways, the agreement covers up to 130 A320 aircraft at ATS's maintenance facility in Everett, Wash. Additional Ka-band installations will be accomplished at JetBlue's LiveTV subsidiary in Orlando. The technology was designed by LiveTV, which will be conducting training and technical support to ATS to ensure a quality installation. All Airbus A320 installations are expected to be completed by the end of 2014.
"We are pleased to enter into this partnership with ATS, a proven MRO leader who shares our passion and excitement for this project," said Jeff Martin, senior vice president of operations for JetBlue. "Jointly, we will aggressively modify the majority of our A320 fleet with the Fly-Fi solution while we continue to work with LiveTV to add Ka broadband onboard connectivity to the remainder of our aircraft."
Fly-Fi, JetBlue's brand for wireless inflight internet, will reportedly use satellite-based connectivity, while most other carriers use ground-based systems, known as Ku-band. Ka-band is the next generation of high-bandwidth satellite technology, with eight times more bandwidth than Ku-band. Ka-band satellites are better suited to support high-throughput capacity that cannot be met by more congested Ku-band frequencies. Ka-band also allows smaller end-user antennas, said JetBlue Airways.
"This is an important step toward putting Wi-Fi in all of our aircraft," said JetBlue senior vice president of marketing and commercial strategy Marty St. George. "The ATS relationship will allow JetBlue to speed Fly-Fi introduction throughout our fleet."
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