Short on the heels of announcing its long-haul fleet is getting new and better inflight wifi service Norwegian is also upgrading the legacy installs with a new, faster offering. Starting this month the 110+ 737 NG planes equipped with the Global Eagle system will add significant capacity and open up multiple tiers of onboard service for passengers. The basic offering remains free for all travelers but higher speed options carry a charge.
We’re continuing to upgrade the passenger experience by commencing the rollout of Premium Wi-Fi on our Boeing 737-800 fleet that will give our customers improved connectivity across our global fleet. – Helga Bollmann Leknes, Norwegian CCO
The two paid tiers from Norwegian are:
- SOCIAL+SURF – Provides faster web browsing, access to email and all social media. Available for €5 per device. (Pricing may be subject to change.)
- STREAM+SURF – Offers faster web browsing, email access and social media in addition to the ability to stream TV shows, movies and music content on services such as Netflix, YouTube and Spotify among others. Available for €12 per device. (Pricing may be subject to change.)
The premium Stream + Surf plan prices similarly to the comparable option on Norwegian’s longhaul fleet. That product starts at $15 for three hours of use.
The tiered pricing plan is supported by Global Eagle’s advanced Network Resource Management (NRM) solution, installed as part of the inflight connectivity kit for all Global Eagle customers. NRM enables airlines to deliver a variety of service offerings and ensure quality service delivery. Most importantly for the airlines, these options can be quickly enabled to present an easily managed array of revenue generating services.
Norwegian expects to have the 110+ aircraft fully migrated to the new offering in just a couple weeks. This quick activation is enabled by the NRM platform handling changes through software updates delivered over the air. No aircraft touches are required for the upgrades.
Norwegian joins Air France with the tiered service plans running on Global Eagle’s European satellite network. Bringing more airlines on to the same satellites helps Global Eagle control its costs, so long as sufficient transponder capacity remains available. The Norwegian deal includes a “significant” upgrade to the bandwidth being made available to each aircraft. Fortunately any use of that capacity comes with a price tag, helping Norwegian and Global Eagle to cover the costs.
The same tiered service will also eventually operate on Norwegian’s Argentinian fleet. That activation is expected in the near future.