The Internet has become an integral part of our lives and now we are so hooked to out that we want it everywhere, even when we are in a flight. With time internet connectivity has also improved with leaps and bounds, the service is now available at places that we couldn’t have imagined some years ago.
Although in-flight Wi-Fi is not a distant dream anymore, however, it still needs to provide the speed competent enough to run smoothly in the air. In the latest development, Virgin has collaborated with ViaSat, which means that their airplanes will be enabled with better Wi-Fi, enough to stream videos. Yes, you read that right, video-streaming of all sorts, be it YouTube or Netflix.
The required bandwidth will be provided by ViaSat’s satellites, presently via ViaSat-1, ViaSat-2 will be joining in soon. Satellite internet is way better than the normal terrestrial internet, it is faster and more accurate. As an example, Ka-band ViaSat-1 can provide up to 140 Gbps of connectivity. Keeping that in mind, Virgin is planning to speed up 8-10 times better and faster than its counterpart, that is by matching the speed provided by passenger’s home internet.
Virgin might be the leader in speedy in-flight Wi-Fi service, however it is not the first airline to involve satellites in providing better and faster internet connectivity. Delta collaborated with Gogo for getting its 2Ku satellite services, not just Delta, last month Honeywell (aircraft manufacturer) partnered with Inmarsat to avail the same service.
Having said that, Virgin is the pioneer in actually bringing such service on-board. If everything goes in sync with the plan, then we might witness the first airplane with Ka-band antenna and ViaSat Internet to journey across the United States by September. Interestingly, Virgin will be massively promoting high bandwidth internet on its Hawaiian flights from next year.