Weeks after US regulators ended a ban on in-flight connectivity below 10,000 feet (3,050 meters),
By using a satellite connection, Global Eagle says it has a more reliable system than air-to-ground providers, especially at low altitudes.
"The satellite is already there and it's possible to have more bandwidth when needed," said
McLellan also said that using a satellite allows one to expand the capacity when the demand grows, while air-to-ground Internet is focused on land masses and very populated area and the infrastructure is always not there.
One of Global Eagle's rivals,
A transceiver, a modem, a server and a wireless access point were fitted onto the Albatross, a search-and-rescue aircraft designed for the
Services including messaging and live television from the Dish satellite network are among those that can be offered through the in-flight connections.
Global Eagle is delivering the service to some 442 aircraft, but its customers also include
Global Eagle uses three satellites over
It costs between
McLellan said on-demand video over the Internet for tablets and phones is possible as well but that some limits need to be imposed.
"We have processes in place to prevent one or two people from using all the bandwidth," he said. "Every passenger has an IP address, so if a device starts consuming more data than we'd like to, we can limit their access."
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