JetBlue chose ViaSat over Gogo with the hope that fast, free Wi-Fi will attract business fliers to the airline that may stay loyal to JetBlue even when it starts charging for Wi-Fi.
JetBlue travelers, the wait for in-flight Wi-Fi is nearly over: an internal company email today revealed the airline intends to roll out high-speed wireless networking in the first quarter of 2013. A memo to crew members obtained by The Verge acknowledges Wi-Fi as a powerful asset that often influences which airline travelers decide to book with. “Customers, especially those traveling for business, with everything else being equal, will choose the airline that offers connectivity, even if the service is spotty or expensive.”
However, rather than choosing an existing option like Gogo — which Jetblue derides as slow and unsatisfactory — the company has instead turned to ViaSat for its Wi-Fi solution. We were impressed by a demonstration of ViaSat’s Exede technology back in January, and JetBlue seems confident that forming this partnership is the right move to push in-flight networking forward.
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