JetBlue prepares for first Ka-band installation

Washington DC
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JetBlue Airways is planning to release one of its aircraft to connectivity provider ViaSat this month to install Ka-band wi-fi, says the carrier.

Once the first aircraft is outfitted with wi-fi, JetBlue will begin the testing and certification process for the broadband service.

ViaSat says it will provide speeds of at least 12 Mbps per second for each customer on JetBlue's Embraer E-190 and Airbus A320 aircraft.

JetBlue will offer inflight internet for free until 30 aircraft in the fleet are equipped with the new service.

JetBlue and ViaSat first announced a memorandum of understanding for the inflight internet service in September 2010. At that time, the carrier had originally planned to start installations of the Ka-band equipment in mid-2012, but the high-capacity Ka-band satellite ViaSat-1 suffered launch delays.

JetBlue's fleet consists of 127 A320s and 53 E-190s.