Alaska Airlines to Offer In-flight Internet Access

as-history-overview4Alaska Airlines has started a trial of satellite broadband technology from California-based Row 44 that will allow customers to get — what else? — Internet when on the go. Row 44 had predicted commercial rollout of its service in 2009. This new service will be called Alaska Airlines Inflight Wi-Fi; the trial will begin on an afternoon flight between Seattle and San Jose, Calif., and will run for about 60 days. If successful, the airline will roll out the service to its entire fleet. Row 44 has tied up with Southwest Airlines and is challenging Aircell and its gogo service. Aircell has teamed up with Virgin America, American Airlines, Delta and others. Row 44 used Ku band satellites, while Aircell is based on an air-to-ground system. JetBlue-owned LiveTV and ViaSat are two other players vying to carve out a piece of the inflight broadband market. (Related: Inflight Broadband Cheat Sheet & Boeing, Boeing… Gone.)

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