Aircell to introduce in-flight video download service

In-flight service provider Aircell plans to launch an in-flight video downloading service later this year, giving airline passengers the ability to download a movie or television show for a fee to their laptops during flights via the Gogo WiFi connection.

Eric Lemond, director of product management with Aircell, told Computerworld that the service will become available on Windows laptops this year and that the downloaded content will be available for viewing for up to 24 hours, regardless of whether the passenger is still flying since the service is will be similar to buying content from the iTunes store. Video content could range from $2 to $4, Lemond said.

Aircell has now deployed the in-flight Gogo WiFi service on 700 planes with eight airlines. Aircell hasn't released the number of total unique users it has nor any revenues or other information such as paid vs. free users, but it has indicated that 2 million sessions have been logged on the service. An article that appeared late last year in said less than 10 percent of all people who take flights that offer WiFi service actually use it, citing cost and the logistics of using a laptop on a plane. Prices of the Gogo service range from $5 to $13 per fight, depending on the airline and the length of time in the air.

A video download service may hit a sweet spot given the fact that passengers would have a range of content to choose from at prices they are accustomed to paying on the ground.

For more:
- see this Computerworld article

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Aircell CEO: 2,000 aircraft will offer Gogo by year end 2009
Aircell reports more than 1M inflight Internet users, but are travelers paying?