UACO to add WIFI to fleet!

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by rggale, Mar 22, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. rggale
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    rggale Gold Member

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    United Continental Holdings to Expand Wi-Fi Service to More Than 200 Aircraft
    [​IMG]
    CHICAGO, March 22, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
    United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL) today announced its wholly owned subsidiary Continental Airlines has executed a letter of intent with inflight entertainment provider LiveTV to offer inflight Wi-Fi via Ka-band beginning next year. The company plans to offer the service on more than 200 domestic Boeing 737 and 757 aircraft equipped with DIRECTV(R), providing onboard connectivity and more than 95 channels of live television programming to customers flying within the continental United States.
    Ka-band will be able to offer higher transmission speeds for more extensive onboard connection capabilities, including browsing of content-rich websites, sending and receiving e-mails and downloading files.
    United Airlines currently offers inflight Internet service on 14 aircraft, including on all p.s.(R) flights linking New York Kennedy with Los Angeles and San Francisco.
    The planned expansion of inflight Wi-Fi services underscores the company's commitment to providing unique options that enable customers to customize their travel experience. The company continues to reconfigure United and Continental aircraft with new flat-bed seats in premium cabins - with the new flat-bed product already on 116 aircraft in the combined fleet, more than any other U.S.-based carrier. In addition, the company intends to begin installation of Economy Plus seating on Continental aircraft beginning in 2012.
    The letter of intent with LiveTV provides the framework for a definitive agreement to be negotiated with LiveTV.
    Ka-band will utilize ViaSat's ViaSat-1, which will be the world's highest-capacity satellite upon its launch later in 2011.
    About United Continental Holdings, Inc.
    United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL) is the holding company for both United Airlines and Continental Airlines. Together with United Express, Continental Express and Continental Connection, these airlines operate a total of approximately 5,675 flights a day to 372 airports on six continents from their hubs in Chicago, Cleveland, Denver,Guam, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark Liberty, San Francisco, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. United and Continental are members of Star Alliance, which offers 21,000 daily flights to 1,160 airports in 181 countries. United and Continental's more than 80,000 employees reside in every U.S. state and in many countries around the world. For more information about United Continental Holdings, Inc., go to UnitedContinentalHoldings.com. For more information about the airlines, see united.com and continental.com, and follow each company on Twitter and Facebook.
    SOURCE United Continental Holdings, Inc.
     
  2. rggale
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    rggale Gold Member

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    It sounds great, until you realize that the satellite used to provide the WiFi service will be launched "later in 2011", which means this is probably at least 8 months to a year away.

    Oh well, still something to look forward to, and possibly a hint that UACO is not planning on keeping the Airbii around for too long.
     
  3. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    There's one UA 757 that is non-P.S. that has the wi-fi on it right now, open and free (for now).

    Mixed thoughts on this, as Skype and pr0n will be two tough topics to tackle.
     
  4. Gtitan
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    Gtitan Gold Member

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    I like it! Way to go "New United". Perhaps, we can stream Netflix some day!:)
     
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  5. COFreqFlyer
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    Not that long, if we* have anything to say about it. :D


    *The unnamed employer to whom I am presently contracted.
     
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  6. rggale
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    rggale Gold Member

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    Well...on behalf of MiPo and FTers United (no pun intended), START SAYING THINGS!!! :D;)
     
  7. carsonheim
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    yippeee!!!!
     
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  8. Wandering Aramean
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    Yes, it is still a ways off as they need to get the satellite into the sky and get the systems built and tested and installed. Still, the Ka-band satellite systems are supposed to be much faster and cheaper which bodes well for consumers.

    I'm not so convinced that this portends the end of the Airbii in the fleet. The agreement is for the existing LiveTV planes. If they are going to put LiveTV on the other systems then they'll need another agreement to do that I'd think.

    That's the Row44 system that uses Ku-band satellite services. Slower than the Ka stuff.

    CO got in to bed with LiveTV and planned on installing their Kiteline internet service a couple years ago when it was supposed to be launched. LiveTV couldn't deliver (they had problems with a subcontractor) and LiveTV eventually had to kill the deal. This is basically the second go for them in getting a service online and running.

    Here are some details about the original LiveTV announcement of what the service is: http://boardingarea.com/blogs/thewa...offer-awesome-in-flight-broadband-eventually/.

    And some more thoughts on this mostly good move here: http://boardingarea.com/blogs/thewa...inental-announces-in-flight-wifi-plans-again/.
     
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  9. COFreqFlyer
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    Not to mention all those Ka-band radar detectors in peoples cars that, depending how sensitive they are set, will be alarming constantly. :D
     
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  10. rggale
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    rggale Gold Member

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    Oh crap, I didn't even think of that. Ka-band gives me the least false alarms, so whenever it goes off I actually slow down. Hopefully this new satellite won't change that.
     
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  11. COFreqFlyer
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    Without straying too far off topic... the thing I enjoy about being Part 97 licensed... I can legally operate transmitters on both X-band and K-band... and I do have a "tail-light tester" in my pickup. ;)
     
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  12. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    In other news Duke Nukem Forever will be free to all who use the service.
     
  13. Ygor
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    Ygor Gold Member

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    That game rules!
     
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  14. bonnerbl
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    bonnerbl Gold Member

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    Great news. I like using my netbook on PS flights and programming/watching my own entertainment.
     
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  15. EWR764
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    This will be a much more robust system than the Kiteline was originally projected to be. Here's hoping that this one actually 'takes off'.
     
  16. milepig
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    milepig Silver Member

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    Don't get too excited:

    The company plans to offer the service on more than 200 domestic Boeing 737 and 757 aircraft equipped with DIRECTV(R),

    My quick count is that CO has 228 such birds. This is limited to planes with DIRECTV(R) and lacking an announcement that UA is retrofitting their 757s, I'm thinking this only applies to the a/c from the CO fleet.
     
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  17. Wandering Aramean
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    Yes, it is only the LiveTV birds right now. They have to start somewhere. If they put the LiveTV system on the Airbii and UA 752s as well then those will get both.

    I'd be quite surprised if they kept the fleet in essentially two different configurations for the long term, but they also need to negotiate with LiveTV for the system installs on the UA half of the fleet. Those will all be new STCs and types to get the service so it is going to take some time to get that deal figured out. And once they do figure that it'll cover both WiFi and DirecTV on the planes.
     
  18. chrislacey
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    This really is awesome news! I'm really looking forward to being able to work in-flight. I think. Haha.
     
  19. Critic
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    Funny, because my first thought on seeing this was 'well, there goes the last shred of peace left in the Y cabin.'
     
  20. bakedpatato
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    Now now guys, Gearbox has announced a release date of May...and Gearbox is reputable...right?
    I do see your point colpuck..vaporware here we come!
     
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  21. chrislacey
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    ...having no idea what vaporware was...here's a link for any other MP members questioning the same thing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaporware

    ...thanks for the new vocab term bakedpotato!
     
  22. bakedpatato
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    bakedpatato Gold Member

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    Yup :D
    To make colpuck's joke clearer:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_Nukem_Forever
    Simply, Duke Nukem Forever(its a shooter) has been in development for 14 years. The original company that was developing it having gone out of business in 09, Gearbox(another development company) bought out all the rights and is releasing the game on May 3. However, the original company had put out many release dates only to see them pass...in the same way that CO talked about wifi being on board.
     
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  23. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I don't see this happening for free. Netflix uses a ton more bandwidth than almost any other internet activity. Paying $5 for internet so you can surf and check email is one thing. But if Netflix is going to use so much more, then it will likely cost much more and I don't know why they would complicate the pricing model. More likely they would just block it.

    However, and this is an interesting idea for any airline execs out there, you could skip a rollout of DirecTV and just sell your customers access to Netflix. All you would need to install is internet access. $5 for internet (which blocks video) and $15 for unrestricted access with a customized interface that goes directly to Netflix or Hulu's page to pick and choose your movies/TV.
     
  24. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    While I do like the addition of WiFI, I wonder how much this "change we will like" ;) is going to cost us, Uncle Jeff.....
     
  25. mht_flyer
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    Looking forward to WiFi availability later this year. Glad they are finally revisiting this since both US and DL have been implementing this all along.......
     

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