Posted on: 19 October 2010
“Meet Bob,” said LiveTV Vice President Sales & Marketing Mike Moeller as I arrived at his booth. He was pointing to a cardboard, Snoopy-like dog covered in bling. Next to Bob was a stainless steel “briefcase” which, of course was the “real” Bob, probably one of the affordable solutions to enabling connectivity on board.
The system is an expansion of its business and really stands for BlackBerry on Board (BOB). The unit replaces more expensive solutions allowing BlackBerry enabled Wi-Fi smart phones to operate over the system.But it also gets iPhones and iPads connected as well and the users really pushed BOB to expand to iBOB.The consumer hardware is basically a carry on that is basically plug-and-play technology for connectivity so not downtime for installation. Dubbed "Pimp my Magnastar" the LiveTV product upgrades the Magnastar service with an onboard Wi-Fi for onboard connectivity. Crew and passengers can connect their smart phones with unlimited airtime at a low flat rate price. Installation is so simple that free trials are available within 48 hours on customers’ aircraft outfitted with Magnastar."The product is not for everyone," says Moeller. "For those that want broadband for surfing and streaming video, many expensive solutions exist. But if a customer just wants to make his smart-phone email and messaging work, there is no cheaper end-to-end solution in the marketplace."BOB also enables WiFi enabled BlackBerry devices to stay connected above 10,000 feet over the Iridium satellite phone system. The system — iBOB — is a satellite supported version of BOB.As with BOB, iBOB uses a simple carry-on laptop with LiveTV Airfone patented solution to provide WiFi coverage. The laptop connects to your Iridium satellite phone system providing the link to the secure RIM network.
BOB will expand again to enable other smart phones on the system.
Kathryn B. Creedy, US correspondent,InflightandInflight-Online.com