Gulf Air first airline to offer passengers global live TV onboard

October 12, 2011
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Gulf Air, Bahrain’s national carrier, on Wednesday became the first airline in the world to offer passengers global live TV onboard after it took delivery of its first A330-200 aircraft fitted with Panasonic Avionics Corporation’s (Panasonic) Global Communications Suite, the airline said.

The comprehensive communications and entertainment solution, ‘Sky Hub’, offers passengers onboard full broadband connectivity to access internet, mobile phone services and, for the first time in the world, a global live television service onboard. The Global Communications Suite is being installed across Gulf Air’s entire fleet of aircraft progressively.

“It is another important milestone in our customer service journey as we unveil our latest inflight entertainment system, ‘Sky Hub’ on our fleet,” Samer Majali, Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer, said as he unveiled the ‘Sky Hub’ onboard the aircraft to the media and senior Bahrain civil aviation officials.

“We are bringing to you, for the first time in the world, fully integrated broadband connectivity offering high speed internet with high speed Wi-Fi and data services, voice over the internet (VOIP), streaming videos and the world’s first in-flight live TV satellite stream across continents.”

Gulf Air, in tune with the fast-paced economy, is providing the fastest, affordable and unlimited internet and mobile access onboard for our customers to stay fully connected in the air and we are pleased to be the first in the industry to offer our customers a connected airline, he said.

“I am sure this avant-garde, cutting-edge technology will fundamentally change our passengers’ communication and entertainment experience onboard setting a new standard for in-flight entertainment” Majali said.

Using Panasonic’s Global Communications Suite, Gulf Air will offer two-way broadband connectivity at speeds of up to 50 Mbps to the aircraft, enabling faster browsing, chatting and other internet based services.

“We will offer deeply immersive, content-rich entertainment in addition to live, uninterrupted television services on routes across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Travelers will no longer have to wait in anxiety until they land to find out scores from their favorite sporting events or news from around the world. Now they can watch their favorite football teams on IMG Media’s Barclays Premier League channel or keep up with world events on favorite news channels such as BBC World News, BBC Arabic and Euronews,” Gulf Air said.

Passengers also will be able to browse the web at broadband speeds, and access social media services such as Facebook and Twitter.

In addition, business travellers can access their virtual private network (VPN) to send and receive emails while watching live-news and stock market updates at 35,000 feet.

They simply need to turn on their personal device, connect to the in-flight Wi-Fi network, and log onto the service through Deutsche Telekom, the wireless internet service provider onboard.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/bahrain/gulf-air-first-airline-to-offer-passengers-global-live-tv-onboard-1.890612

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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