Speedy Internet connections aren’t yet synonymous with airline Wi-Fi but that may soon change.
Netflix at the Apex Expo on Monday announced a new airline initiative set to debut next year that’s designed to improve in-flight Wi-Fi. Specifically, Netflix aims to extend the encoding technology it developed for mobile devices to airlines around the world with the hope of forging new partnerships.
Using its technology, the streaming video giant says passengers will be able to watch Netflix in high quality during a flight while reducing airlines’ bandwidth costs by as much as 75 percent.
The initiative would potentially benefit all parties involved.
Improved in-flight Wi-Fi could give participating airlines a leg-up on the competition and likely boost overall customer satisfaction, especially if Internet service is made free or very cheap. For passengers, improved connection speeds at 40,000 feet are a no-brainer in this hyper-connected day and age. The ability to stream Netflix would also give passengers a much better entertainment option compared to the poor selection of content that airlines are notorious for.
Netflix, meanwhile, gets yet another opportunity to sell subscriptions to consumers and perhaps could even work in a technology licensing fee.
Netflix is no stranger to the airline industry. In 2015, the company signed a deal with Virgin America to offer free Wi-Fi on select planes. Netflix has similar deals in place with Aeromexico, Qantas and Virgin Australia as well according to Variety.