Have we mentioned lately that we’re excited for inflight Wi-Fi?
It’s already installed on one of our domestic aircraft and we’ve been testing it in the background ahead of switching it on for customers to use.
Wi-Fi on Qantas domestic will be free and fast. Fast enough to stream entertainment to your device the same way you do at home.
So, to make sure there is plenty to watch, we’re very pleased to announce that popular video streaming service Stan is coming on board to offer its entire catalogue to Qantas customers. Access lasts for three months and is included with your fare.
Here’s how it works. If you fly on our Wi-Fi enabled 737, you’ll receive a unique code that you can use to log-in to Stan. Just subscribe and you’ll be able to stream their library of thousands of hours of shows and movies on board, and then on the ground on three of your own devices for 90 days.
From mid-April, Stan joins Foxtel, Netflix and Spotify as a content partner for our Wi-Fi flights. So, time is going to fly (#seewhatwedidthere).
We’ll be switching the whole system on for customers once we’ve completed some fine-tuning.
One question people asked after our last update was, “why so much testing when inflight wi-fi has been around for a while?”.
The answer is that the Wi-Fi we’ve installed uses much newer technology than most other airlines are using (among other things, it’s Ka band rather than Ku). That’s how we’re able to offer speeds that are up to 10 times faster than conventional on-board Wi-Fi services (around 7 to 12 mbps based on our latest tests). And that, in turn, is how we’re able to offer streaming. But that means lots of tests and tweaks to make sure it works smoothly.
We’re also working to reduce lag or buffering, which is more noticeable when you are streaming (as distinct from email or web browsing). It quite a technical thing to do when you are trying to maintain a constant, high-bandwidth connection with a satellite as you’re travelling at 900 kilometres per hour.
Even when we switch Wi-Fi on for customer use, we know there’s still more fine-tuning for us to do. That’s why we’re deliberately waiting about six months before rolling it out to the rest of our domestic A330 and B737 aircraft.
Until then, our one Wi-Fi enabled aircraft will definitely be the most entertaining in the Qantas fleet.