It had to come. Who even pays for Wi-Fi anymore? Your correspondent does not on Delta, because of a very useful deal between T-Mobile and GoGo. T-Mobile customers get free access allowing for Twitter and Facebook. These two apps are great boredom solutions.
The jetBlue deal is sponsored by Amazon. Passengers can stream Amazon Video on their devices. The solution deployed by jetBlue offers 15-30mbps. This speed comes on all the airline’s US domestic flights. GoGo is apparently operating at 10mbps.
Alaska Airlines, now owner of Virgin America, announced passengers on Wi-Fi enabled flights can use iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger at no cost.
jetBlue’s service is called Fly-Fi and is uninterrupted Wi-Fi – meaning no waiting to reach 10,000 feet before getting online. From the boarding to arrival Fly-Fi is connected.
jetBlue is in an interesting situation here. They use ViaSat for their signals and the system is satellite based. Currently ViaSat 1 offers its signals over North America – which is why the talk is about US domestic service. But ViaSat 2 should be offering signals from March or April, and that signal covers the North Atlantic. jetBlue should be getting its A321neos before long, and if as we expect, the airline flies to Europe, they can offer the highest Wi-Fi speed to every passenger. The existing antenna for JetBlue will only work with ViaSat1, however a new antenna for their A321neos on order will be both forward and backward compatible for all three satellites.
jetBlue is focusing on competing on product. This is great because it’s not the old faithful price war solution, which leaves every airline bleeding. Perhaps this will help raise service levels across the industry.