Following up on the news that the development of the Kiteline service for domestic commercial air service has been suspended, LiveTV, a subsidiary of JetBlue, has made some noise about Kiteline Global, a service that will provide limited bandwidth using the Iridium satellite network. The system will use a very small antenna and provide a 128Kbit link for in-flight internet traffic. Yup, only 128Kbit. That’s not much at all. But the expectation is that it will be much less expensive to install and maintain, and it is sufficient bandwidth for instant message and light email traffic. Not a full-browser solution by any means, but way less expensive, too. Will that be enough to drive adoption? LiveTV is betting yes. We’ll learn if they’re correct in the coming months as the product sees first flight and deployments. There were hints of this service coming on-line as far back as last October and it is great to see it finally coming to fruition.
On the Kiteline front LiveTV has noted that they now have a “carry-on” product they are calling Kiteline GA for general aviation use. This is a portable radio device that leverages the ATG spectrum previously purchased to permit any GA aircraft to have connectivity. The service is available on an ad hoc basis for customers who have the Airfone product installed.
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