Forget the on-board content; you can now stream whatever you want from the (Amazon Prime) cloud for free in flight!
That’s the message JetBlue and Amazon are presenting with their announcement this morning regarding a sponsorship deal in which Amazon will be covering some of the bandwidth costs JetBlue incurs with its partners Thales & ViaSat while making streaming of all media available on the free FlyFi platform.
cover the costs for the Fly-Fi premium service (normally $9/hour) to have sufficient bandwidth for streaming. And even if you aren’t a Prime customer you can buy or rent movies from Amazon in flight and have the necessary bandwidth allocated. Or stream anything else. This deal should cover everything, not just Amazon content, though Amazon is helping foot the bill. Amazon does get prime placement on the FlyFi portal and a few other benefits, naturally.
Read More: JetBlue finds answer to Fly-Fi identity crisis with Amazon Prime deal
In addition to being a cool PaxEx benefit it is also an interesting commentary on how the in-flight connectivity market is rapidly shifting, perhaps even faster than those who work in it thought it might have originally expected. Which is to say that last year Glenn Latta told me he thought this day was coming. But I’m not sure it was supposed to happen so soon.
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What Mbps does a 480p Amazon stream use?
According to Amazon it is 900Kbit/sec.
If all 150 pax on board try it is going to implode, but the numbers should work initially. And getting more bandwidth on board – up to a limit – is just a software change, not a hardware upgrade.
Would it not be cheaper to throw the content onto a few 4TB drives and let Prime customers stream from an onboard server?
Not a chance. The total volume of data, plus the logistics of keeping it current, would overwhelm any such solution. And that’s before you get in to certifying it for use on an airplane.
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