Virgin America has launched faster inflight Wi-Fi that will give you smooth, uninterrupted YouTube views for your whole journey.
The company has partnered with broadband technology firm Viasat in outfitting its 10 new A320 aircrafts with updated Wi-Fi networks. The use of ViaSat-1, a high capacity Ka-band satellite service that offers speeds of up to 140 gigabits-per-second, could make Virgin's Wi-Fi eight to ten times faster than your garden variety inflight networks. Passengers will be able to watch countless episodes of PewDiePie beginning in September, the company said in a statement.
It marks the next chapter in the wild world of wireless service on planes. Despite the obvious benefits, there are huge discrepancies in pricing and speeds for on-board Wi-Fi, as detailed in our recent story on the economics of inflight Internet. Most airlines use Gogo, the biggest player in onboard Wi-Fi, and Gogo can support connections of 3.1 Mbps to 9.8 Mbps. Gogo has also been raising the prices of surfing the Web in the skies, betting that customers will pay almost anything for such a privilege.
“I’ve seen prices as high as $35 a flight for a cross country flight,” Tim Farrar, satellite telecom analyst for TMF Associates, told Fortune. “That pricing isn’t widespread yet, but there appears to be no limit to what people are prepared to pay.”