Virgin America to Offer Faster In-Flight Wi-Fi Come Fall
The new service will utilize technology from ViaSat, the same company that provides JetBlue’s Fly-Fi service, and will be installed in ten new Airbus A320 planes that will be delivered starting in September.
ViaSat will provide a hybrid Ku/Ka service that will give Virgin America’s flights to Hawaii Internet service while over the Pacific Ocean where the Ka portion of the electromagnetic spectrum in the microwave range of frequencies is not available, although the initial installations with be Ka only.
Virgin America’s service will utilize ViaSat-1, a satellite that ViaSat says is the highest capacity Ka-band satellite in the world, offering speeds of up to 140 gigabits per second.
Installation of the Ka-band antennas will start when the Burlingame-based carrier starts to receive its new A320s in September. The increased bandwidth will support high-quality video while in flight.
During the rollout period, Virgin will offer free Wi-Fi access on its first aircraft equipped with the product, and will announce pricing for the service next year.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)