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CO News Release / Onboard TV & WiFi Domestically

 

Old Jan 29, 08, 8:39 am
  #1
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CO News Release / Onboard TV & WiFi Domestically

Colleagues:

Just released by CO PR:

Continental Airlines to Offer Live Television and E-Mail on Domestic Flights

Service includes 36 channels of live television programming provided by DIRECTV(R) and onboard Wi-Fi services including inflight wireless connectivity

for e-mail and instant messaging

HOUSTON, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with LiveTV, L.L.C. (LiveTV) that will allow Continental to offer 36 channels of live, inflight satellite-based television programming provided by DIRECTV(R), the nation's leading satellite television provider, at every seat on Continental's new generation aircraft. The service is expected to be available to customers on flights operating within the continental United States beginning in January 2009.

In addition, Continental will be introducing onboard Wi-Fi services including e-mail and instant messaging connectivity offered by LiveTV.

"Our customers want more inflight entertainment and communication options," said Larry Kellner, Continental's chairman and chief executive officer. "We have been closely watching technology developments and are delighted to have teamed up with LiveTV to offer live television programming and communication to our customers."

Customers will be able to choose from a variety of quality programming from DIRECTV(R) including sports, news, weather, children's programming and general entertainment. The initial channel programming lineup offered through the inflight entertainment system is expected to include CBS, NBC, FOX News, CNN Headline News, ESPN, Animal Planet, The History Channel, Food Network, Nickelodeon, MTV and other popular channels. The inflight entertainment system will also offer a moving map and other stored informational and entertainment content. Continental will offer complimentary access to the system to all first-class customers. Economy-class customers will be able to access the system by paying a $6 access fee.

In addition, Continental will offer complimentary Wi-Fi connectivity services allowing customers to access e-mail and instant messaging subject to LiveTV being able to offer the service, which is still in the testing phase. Customers will be able to use the service with Wi-Fi enabled smartphones, BlackBerries and laptops to connect to work, friends and family via Yahoo!(R) Mail, Yahoo!(R) Messenger and BlackBerry e-mail and BlackBerry(R) Messenger services.

The new services will be installed on Continental's fleet of Boeing 737 New Generation aircraft, including the 737-700, -800, -900 and -900ER aircraft, and the Boeing 757-300.

Continental Airlines is the world's fifth largest airline. Continental, together with Continental Express and Continental Connection, has more than 2,900 daily departures throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, serving 144 domestic and 139 international destinations. More than 580 additional points are served via SkyTeam alliance airlines. With more than 45,000 employees, Continental has hubs serving New York, Houston, Cleveland and Guam, and together with Continental Express, carries approximately 69 million passengers per year. Continental consistently earns awards and critical acclaim for both its operation and its corporate culture. For more company information, visit continental.com.

LiveTV is the world's leading provider of live inflight entertainment and connectivity systems for commercial airlines, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of JetBlue. LiveTV is the provider of JetBlue's inflight entertainment service - - which was recently recognized by the World Airline Entertainment Association as the Best Overall inflight entertainment experience in the Americas. LiveTV's customers also include some of the most successful low-cost, low-fare airlines in the world including WestJet, Frontier, Virgin Blue and AirTran. Headquartered in Florida, LiveTV has installation and maintenance locations around the world to support the more than 500 aircraft currently equipped with its products. For a full listing of products, services and partners, or for more information, please visit www.livetv.net.
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Old Jan 29, 08, 8:46 am
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Interesting news.

Now I wish that Continental wouldn't put their press releases in an iFrame.
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Old Jan 29, 08, 8:53 am
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This is very good news (sbm12, thats 1)

my q's is how long will it take to install these into the a/c. the 777 was supposed to only take 30days, but in reality they take 60. and process seems to be painfully slow. I wonder what the time table will be for getting all the a/c updated?
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Old Jan 29, 08, 8:55 am
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wish the e-mail would be slated to work with more than just YHOO and RIM services, but overall, a positive step forward.
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Old Jan 29, 08, 8:58 am
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Interesting that CO will charge $6 for the service that's free on other carriers. What's the motivation here? Is it to create another revenue stream, or is it to create a product differentiation that will push bookings?

I'd make a statement here about a B6/CO tie-up -- but that would defy all logic. Which, I suppose in the airline industry, is as good as any other logic.
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Old Jan 29, 08, 9:00 am
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With the January 2009 date in the releases that is going to be a lot of NGs delivered without the service (or any other IFE). Waiting a full year to have it in operation seems rough. That being said, if they expect the implementation to be complete by Jan 09 that's a whole different story.

On the Internet front, I just hope that CO has better results than B6 has had thus far. Their "Beta Blue" plane has had a number of connectivity issues that are limiting the success of the program so far.

The $6 is interesting, but I cannot tell from the wording if it applies only to the TV service (I think this is the case). So I can have free "Internet" or pay for TV. Even with the terribly limited Internet I'd probably go that route, though I'd also probably find pretty quickly that it won't work correctly for me. My BB isn't a WiFi one and I have no use for the Yahoo! internet services, so I guess I'm stuck with nothing. I suppose I could argue just how "worthwhile" a development this is if it doesn't actually provide usable service to the majority of passengers, but I'll wait until I've actually lost the bet for that

Link to the original release.

Last edited by sbm12; Jan 29, 08 at 9:05 am
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Old Jan 29, 08, 9:01 am
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Originally Posted by COFan View Post
my q's is how long will it take to install these into the a/c.
Mine too. Check out the "bet" thread and weigh in on the over/under for full implementation. I know I'm cynical, but given the CO track record on the AVOD on the 777s and 752s, I'm not going to start celebrating until I actually sit on a plane that has these features.
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Old Jan 29, 08, 9:01 am
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Originally Posted by belynch View Post
Interesting that CO will charge $6 for the service that's free on other carriers. What's the motivation here? Is it to create another revenue stream, or is it to create a product differentiation that will push bookings?

I'd make a statement here about a B6/CO tie-up -- but that would defy all logic. Which, I suppose in the airline industry, is as good as any other logic.
I think they see people being more likely to pay for TV rather than internet. I'm guessing they'll offer some free television/entertainment option.
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Old Jan 29, 08, 9:02 am
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I think the only fair thing would be to let us Elite Members get at least a discount, if not the live TV outright.

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Old Jan 29, 08, 9:02 am
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Originally Posted by belynch View Post
Interesting that CO will charge $6 for the service that's free on other carriers. What's the motivation here? Is it to create another revenue stream, or is it to create a product differentiation that will push bookings?
in the markets i fly, continental (CO) is almost always the premium priced offering. so, why should this be any different? having said that, it is still a year before this goes live. pricing could certainly change in that timeframe.

Last edited by fly co to see the yanks; Jan 29, 08 at 9:10 am
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Old Jan 29, 08, 9:03 am
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I wonder if Elite pax in coach will get the service for free.

You know, everybody is different, but I'm not that big a TV fan. I'd personally rather see a movie. And when I flew Song (or now the Delta planes with the Song technology) I actually enjoyed the music more than the TV. I guess CO isn't buying that technology. The bottomline is that, on most flights, it probably wouldn't be worth six bucks to me to watch TV. I suspect most people would feel the same way. I wonder if they've thought that through.
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Old Jan 29, 08, 9:03 am
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I wonder if this is the start date or the date it's expected to be available on all the scheduled aircraft. Based on the large number of aircraft involved I'd guess it's the start date for the first aircraft. I can't imagine all of the installations being complete in one year:
The service is expected to be available to customers on flights operating within the continental United States beginning in January 2009.
Doesn't JetBlue offer this for free? I wonder if CO will offer it for free to Florida?
Continental will offer complimentary access to the system to all first-class customers. Economy-class customers will be able to access the system by paying a $6 access fee.
This sounds interesting:
In addition, Continental will offer complimentary Wi-Fi connectivity services allowing customers to access e-mail and instant messaging subject to LiveTV being able to offer the service, which is still in the testing phase. Customers will be able to use the service with Wi-Fi enabled smartphones, BlackBerries and laptops to connect to work, friends and family via Yahoo!(R) Mail, Yahoo!(R) Messenger and BlackBerry e-mail and BlackBerry(R) Messenger services.

Last edited by Xyzzy; Jan 29, 08 at 9:09 am
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Old Jan 29, 08, 9:11 am
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Originally Posted by bigbird090 View Post
I think the only fair thing would be to let us Elite Members get at least a discount
ain't gonna happen. implementation nightmare. not sure that the beancounters would approve, either.
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Old Jan 29, 08, 9:13 am
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Great, just when I thought the airplane was the one place people couldn't bug me. :G

No, all kidding aside, this is super news!
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Old Jan 29, 08, 9:13 am
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I think $6 is to high a fee when others offer for free. Would I buy it? Possibly on longer trips, or during those times I have been in the air during the superbowl.

Here's an idea why not make it $6 for the day meaning if you have a couple of segments you can buy it to your destination.

Might I buy it for the kids? Probably becuase I get tired of lugging the DVD player!!!
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