CHICAGO, Ill. – United Continental Holdings, Inc. 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®, 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.® 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.