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September 15, 2015

ViaSat and Boeing co-pilot to give wi-fi wings

Boeing aircrafts could be fitted with wi-fi in the factory.

By Alexander Sword

ViaSat has inked an agreement with Boeing to work towards offering wi-fi connectivity in its aircraft from launch.

ViaSat’s Ka-band airborne satellite terminal will be evaluated as a factory option for Boeing aircraft, meaning that they can be built with ViaSat connectivity already installed.

Airlines will be able to cut out the down-time associated with taking planes out of service to retrofit them with connectivity, since ViaSat’s service will be available from day one.

The agreement builds on a collaboration between ViaSat and Boeing to offer the Flexible Broadband System, which combines ViaSat’s ViaSat-2 satellite with Boeing’s 702SP satellite bus.

"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, vice president and general manager, Commercial Mobility at ViaSat.

Buchman added: "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."

John Craig, chief engineer of Cabin and Network Systems for Boeing Commercial Airplanes continued, "In initiating the evaluation process with long-time partner ViaSat, we now look to add ViaSat airborne terminals to our line-fit factory options.

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"This will give Boeing’s commercial airline customers a new cost- and time-effective high-bandwidth connectivity choice for their airplanes."

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