Connexion by Boeing, the in-flight Internet service, will add live television to its offerings this summer in an effort to attract more...
Connexion by Boeing, the in-flight Internet service, will add live television to its offerings this summer in an effort to attract more customers.
Customers who pay $29.95 per flight for the Connexion service will have access to four channels of television streamed over the Internet to their laptop computers.
The channels are BBC World, CNBC, EuroSport News and either EuroNews or MSNBC.
MSNBC will be shown in the United States and Canada, while EuroNews will be broadcast outside North America.
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So far, only Singapore Airlines has announced plans to offer the new TV service, starting with its Singapore-to-London flights.
The Connexion broadband service uses satellites to provide high-speed data connections between planes in flight and ground stations linked to the Internet.
Boeing created software to ensure smooth transitions of data across multiple satellites. But Boeing’s own in-flight testing of the live TV service has not been completed.
The chance to watch live TV should persuade more passengers to use the Connexion service, said David Friedman, vice president of marketing at Connexion.
“What you see on TV is what you get on the plane,” he said.
Friedman said he expects other airlines to sign on later this year. Providing the live TV service requires upgrading the software system on each plane.
The TV service is part of a longer-term Connexion strategy to offer more television channels, in-flight content to mobile devices such as PDAs and cellphones, and eventually in-flight cellular-phone service, Friedman said.
The company is working with airline customers and in-flight entertainment-service providers to deliver television programs to screens on airplane seatbacks sometime next year, he said.
In the United States, Jet Blue, Frontier and Song, Delta’s low-cost subsidiary, already offer live TV via satellite.
Connexion, which began service a year ago, has 11 airline customers offering the service on 60 planes around the world, including Lufthansa, Japan’s ANA and JAL, and Scandinavian Airline Systems.
Kristi Heim: 206-464-2718 or firstname.lastname@example.org