Posted on: 02 May 2011 by Ross McSweeny
American Airlines is to begin testing the new inflight streaming video product from Aircell, claiming to offer passengers a new, innovative inflight entertainment option with wireless streaming of content to their personal Wi-Fi-enabled devices.
American, partnering with Aircell, is currently testing the new inflght video system on two Boeing 767-200 aircraft in transcontinental service, and plans to begin customer testing early this Summer. The airline’s goal is to roll out this product on Wi-Fi-enabled aircraft starting in Autumn pending FAA certifications.
"American was the first North American airline to launch inflight Wi-Fi, and today we again set a new industry standard as the first domestic airline to test inflight streaming video content," commented Rob Friedman, American’s Vice President – Marketing. "We know our customers want to be connected on the ground and in the sky, so we are working hard to stay on the leading edge of connectivity through technology enhancements like this."
In addition, American will work with Aircell to further enhance onboard connectivity by expanding inflight Wi-Fi to its narrow body fleet, including additional MD80 and domestic Boeing 757-200 aircraft – successfully completing its Wi-Fi offering on all of its domestic aircraft dedicated to flying within the continental United States.
Installation will begin this Summer and continue through 2012. American will also continue to install Wi-Fi service on its entire fleet of 737-800 aircraft.
"By expanding Wi-Fi to the remainder of American’s domestic fleet and adding movies and TV to the already powerful Internet, American and Aircell continue to transform the inflight experience," declared Ash ElDifrawi, Executive Vice President and CMO of Aircell. "In this new era of inflight entertainment and inflight connectivity convergence, we are proud to be American’s partner in innovation and applaud their leadership."
American’s inflight Wi-Fi and the new streaming video product are powered by the Aircell air-to-ground system, which uses three small antennas installed outside the aircraft and connects to Aircell’s exclusive nationwide mobile broadband network.