CARLSBAD, Calif., 12 June 2013. JetBlue Airways has upgraded its agreement with ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ:VSAT), more than doubling its contract commitment to $20 million for Fly-Fi powered by Exede Internet, on its mission to offer a superior in-flight broadband experience.
The Exede In The Air in-flight service for commercial aircraft is designed to eclipse the service quality and speeds of other in-cabin airline broadband services, says a representative. Exede services uses an innovative Ka-band satellite system, featuring the ViaSat-1high-capacity communications satellite. The more favorable economics of the ViaSat system enable airlines to specify a high-speed service level to each passenger, rather than simply an aggregate amount of bandwidth to the plane that leaves passengers competing for limited resources. The system is capable of delivering 12 Mbps or more to each connected passenger. ViaSat will bill for bandwidth charges based on the service take rate for each flight.
ViaSat is under contract to install its in-flight system, working together with partner LiveTV, onto a total of 370 aircraft, including JetBlue and one other U.S. carrier. Installations are expected to begin later this year with all aircraft scheduled to be online by the end of calendar 2015.
"A good way to characterize this amendment is that we're both putting a little more skin in the game because of our confidence that providing a really good service is going to increase the number of passengers who use it," says Mark Dankberg, ViaSat CEO and chairman. "This is a great show of JetBlue's faith in us as we complete ground testing with LiveTV and move ahead to the first flights."