Continental Airlines finally has committed to inflight WiFi, saying today that
it's going to to install the service on 200-plus 737s and 757s on domestic routes starting next year.
As I noted many months ago in assessing Continental's plans, the provider is LiveTV, offering WiFi via Ka-band on aircraft with DIRECTV, which also has 95 channels of live television programming. Ka-band will use ViaSat’s ViaSat-1, which will be the world’s highest-capacity satellite after it is launched later this year.
"Ka-band will be able to offer higher transmission speeds for more extensive onboard connection capabilities, including browsing of content-rich websites, sending and receiving e-mails and downloading files," says United Continental Holdings, the somewhat clumsily named corporation that now owns the merging United Airlines and Continental Airlines. (Well, thank God they didn't name it "Uncontinental," at least).
United Airlines currently offers inflight Internet service on 14 aircraft, including on its so-called p.s. premium service flights between Kennedy with Los Angeles and San Francisco.
On those flights, United uses Aircell's industry-leading Gogo WiFi service, which is installed on almost 1,100 mainstream domestic aircraft.