Airline wifi is not a new idea.
Carriers are already offering passengers internet access during their flight, but current systems can be painfully slow.
As a result – online streaming services like BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Amazon Prime are restricted.
According to Gogo – the most common in-flight wifi provider in the United States, the current technology will max out at a sluggish 3.1Mbps.
Remember, thats’ 3.1Mbps divided by the number of passengers on your flight trying to access their Facebook newsfeed or Tweet.
But Virgin hopes to introduce wifi fast enough to stream from online music and video on-demand services later this year.
In-flight entertainment not have that film you were looking for? Stream it on Netflix.
Fancy putting together a Spotify playlist at 36,000ft ready for the car-journey when you land? Not a problem.
Virgin America is trialling the new system first – placing it on ten of its latest aircrafts.
When the tests begin this September, it will offer lucky travellers free and fast broadband in the sky.
Speaking about the service, Virgin America CEO David Cush told CNBC: “It uses Ka satellite across the domestic US.
“That will deliver speeds up to 30 times the speed of the original ATG that most airlines still fly, and 10 times what our current aircraft will do,
“It’s a dual antenna that also uses the Ku satellites across the pacific, so we can have a single antenna offer very fast Wi-Fi across the US and adequate Wi-Fi to Hawaii now.”
Some UK airlines, such as Virgin Atlantic, offer wifi on select flights but other carriers including EasyJet, have decided to steer clear of airborne internet.
Speaking at a recent event in Munich, EasyJet boss Carolyn McCall said the company would only consider investing once a reliable service could be offered to passengers.
[“source – express.co.uk”]