Virgin America boosts in-flight Wi-Fi with ViaSat Ka-band satellite connection
Virgin America is upgrading its in-flight Wi-Fi service, claiming it will be powerful enough to stream video. Partnering with ViaSat to use its high-capacity 140-gigabit Ka-band satellite connection, it is said that Virgin America's in-flight Wi-Fi will be between eight and ten times faster than similar services on other aircraft, and close to connections available at home. Ten A320 planes will be the first to get the connection in September, with passengers on routes to Hawaii likely to benefit from the connections first.
Football match to take one-year break from Roman numerals
Apple has joined with some of its allies and rivals over a common cause: bringing the 50th Super Bowl football game to the new Santa Clara Stadium in 2016. Apple, Google, Gap, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Seagate, Virgin America and Yahoo have all pledged $2 million to help offset the public costs of the event, such as security and youth groups, to alleviate the burden on taxpayers. By coincidence, 2016 is also the year Apple expects to complete its new, $5 billion headquarters, known as "Campus 2."
Oyster adds children's section to its catalog
E-book subscription service, Oyster, has announced its launching of a new Children's genre, now live in its iOS app. Oyster offers access to unlimited e-books for a $10 monthly subscription. Including classic titles, the new children's catalog features award-winning stories and new releases. Oyster also announced its new agreement with Disney publishing, expanding children's content with Disney-branded characters. The Oyster app requires iOS 7 or later, and is compatible with iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.
Looking to stream media to passenger's iPads also
Qantas Airlines will begin offering iPads on a trial basis to its passengers for in-flight entertainment. The airline will be offering the devices to all 254 passengers on the plane. It will conduct the experiment on a single Boeing 767-300 aircraft flying between Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
Gogo ATG-4 Wi-Fi and Vision video due in 2012
Gogo has unrolled a major upgrade to its in-air Wi-Fi access for 2012. Starting with Virgin America, its ATG-4 spec Wi-Fi promises to quadruple the practical speed, enough to where HD video streaming is an option. It upgrades to the faster EVDO Revision B standard for its 3G and also has upgrades to improve the connection quality, such as two modems on the aircraft to reduce bottlenecks and a directional antenna to focus the signal.
Virgin America to give demo Chromebooks, Wi-Fi
Google teamed up with Virgin America in an unusual promo Thursday to spur on early adoption of Chromebooks. Special areas known as Chrome Zones at the departure gates of flights in either direction between San Francisco International and Boston's Logan International, Chicago O'Hare International, and Dallas-Fort Worth International will both serve as pitches for the Chrome OS systems as well as give an opportunity to check out a free Chromebook for their flight. The promo not only gives use of the portable but free Wi-Fi from that system for the whole flight.
Gogo, seven airlines give free in-flight Facebook
Seven major airlines have teamed up with Gogo Inflight Internet to provide free access to Facebook during flights. Accessing other pages on the web, however, requires payment, ranging between $5 for short flights or $13 for long ones. Facebook is the most popular place visited on the Gogo network and is being used as a promo to drive adoption of in-air Internet use.
JetBlue vows to bring Wi-Fi to planes in 2012
JetBlue has become the latest airline company to announce it will bring Wi-Fi to its fleet. The company, which flies across the US, will partner with ViaSat to install hardware that will enable broadband Internet and TV service on its 160 aircraft by the end of 2012. Before this happens, however, the FAA needs to test and approve all the gear.
Virgin America adds to in-flight Google Maps
Virgin America, which was the first to bring Wi-Fi to all of its planes, has now further upgraded its seat-back TV Internet experience. Fliers can now shop in SkyMall, view enhanced Google Maps and open a bar tab. This is in addition to services already available, including TV, music, games, passenger chat and food ordering.