Tysons satellite company fits American Airlines regional jets with high-speed Wi-Fi

Tysons, Virginia-based Intelsat will outfit hundreds of American Airlines regional jets with high-speed Wi-Fi, as part of American’s ongoing in-flight streaming upgrades throughout its fleet.

Beginning early next year, Intelsat will begin installing equipment on nearly 500 dual-class regional jets, that will connect to Intelsat’s geo-stationary satellites as well as its constellation of Low-Earth Orbit satellites using its Electronically Steered Array antennae. The regional jet upgrades will be completed within two years.

American Airlines has already upgraded more than 900 mainline aircraft with next-generation high-speed Wi-Fi, using technology from Intelsat and other satellite Internet providers.

Intelsat’s in-flight Wi-Fi connection is fast enough for passengers to stream programming from their own streaming service accounts such as Netflix, Hulu and HBO, browse the Internet, check email and log onto a VPN while inflight.

American Airlines charges passengers as little as $10 for high-speed Wi-Fi access on domestic flights. It also sells monthly and annual Wi-Fi subscriptions for frequent fliers that are members of its AAdvantage rewards program.

Intelsat has announced Wi-Fi upgrades with other airlines this year, including Alaska Airlines, Air Canada and, most recently, Aerolineas Argentina, the first Latin American carrier to offer its Electronically Steered Array antenna Internet connection equipment.

Intelsat competes with other third party inflight Internet Wi-Fi providers or airlines, including Gogh and Viasat.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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