Southwest Airlines is to offer faster WiFi and new onboard entertainment in late 2017.
The airline will be working with its existing suppliers, Panasonic Avionics and Global Eagle Entertainment (GEE) to upgrade the technology.
The agreement with Panasonic provides for their Global Communications Services, which include WiFi and live television, to be offered on a portion of the carrier’s fleet, with the first Panasonic equipped aircraft scheduled to enter service in late 2017.
The agreement with GEE extends the carrier’s use of the company’s Airconnect connectivity system and services.
By the end of 2017, Southwest Airlines is targeting to operate a 100 percent WiFi-equipped fleet of more than 700 aircraft.
In mid-2017, passengers will be able to browse the Internet at increased speeds as a result of an expected bandwidth increase of at least three times more than now, with an additional expected bandwidth increase in mid-2018.
Southwest passengers will continue to enjoy the current onboard entertainment, such as free live TV and $8 per device per day for WiFi connectivity across all WiFi-equipped planes.
N.B. Image credit: Southwest