Boeing set to install ViaSat in-flight wifi in new aircraft

Satellite connectivity company ViaSat has announced an agreement with Boeing that should see its Ka-band airborne satellite terminal installed in new Boeing commercial aircraft.

The specific statements are somewhat nuanced, implying Boeing hasn’t fully committed yet, but the deal seems likely to go ahead. ViaSat claims it offers in-flight internet speeds up to ten times faster than anything else available today.

“Our agreement with Boeing is an important milestone giving our airline customers the ability to get the best onboard Wi-Fi system delivered with their new aircraft,” said Don Buchman, GM of Commercial Mobility at ViaSat. “By selecting ViaSat in-flight communications for Boeing’s fleet, airlines now can differentiate their in-flight internet service with a flexible, sustainable business model that will continue to create value as more passengers use the service.”

“In initiating the evaluation process with long-time partner ViaSat, we now look to add ViaSat airborne terminals to our line-fit factory options,” said John Craig, chief engineer of Cabin and Network Systems for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “This will give Boeing’s commercial airline customers a new cost- and time-effective high-bandwidth connectivity choice for their airplanes.”

There has been a fair bit of activity in the satellite space recently. IoT connectivity specialist SIGFOX has announced it will deploy satellite technology developed by Eutelsat to augment the backhaul between its base stations. Meanwhile Inmarsat launched the third satellite in its Global Xpress constellation at the end of August and the VSAT conference is currently underway in London.

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