Southwest Airlines will try out Row 44's satellite-backed Internet service on one plane this year: The discount carrier plans to equip one 737-700 with Row 44's Ku-band satellite Internet service by the end of the year for a 2-to-3 month trial. In first quarter 2009, FlightGlobal reports, other 737-700s will be added, and a variety of flight durations will be tested.
Row 44 continues to claim what seems to me to be an impossibly high speed: here, Southwest is saying 31 Mbps downstream. I will believe this when I see it. Ku-band transponders are capable of very high speed data transmissions, but I'm not convinced that this rate is sustainable to each plane and represents actual net throughput. We'll see. (The only other speed I've heard for Ku-band was 12 Mbps from Panasonic Avionics, when they were considering firing back up a network similar to Connexion by Boeing.)
Southwest plans to filter. Yeah, let me know how that works out for you guys.