Internet connectivity is, to say the least, a very important part of our lives. One of the times when being disconnected is an inevitability is while you’re in a flight. AirAsia has offered in-flight connectivity before, powered by ROKKI. The low-cost carrier is now in the process of improving its in-flight connectivity service. The new service will also simply be known as AirAsia WiFi, though it’s still powered by ROKKI.
AirAsia representatives said that each plane will have a bandwidth of 50Mbps. With the carrier’s estimates, each individual passenger will be able to get connection speeds of about 2Mbps. It’s not much, but you’ll still be able to stream videos and make video calls as if you were on a broadband connection.
As part of the new service’s trial, AirAsia now offers 10MB of free data on selected flights. The trial will be ongoing throughout the month, but representatives from the carrier say it is looking into expanding this trial period. More can be purchased upon logging into the in-flight Wi-Fi, based on the table below.
On the face of it, this is a massive improvement over the carrier’s current offering, in both speed and price. That said, for now the connection on board is still quite choppy. My experience involves a number of disconnections, which led to the loss of the free 10MB data allocation. This could be an issue if you’ve paid for more data on board.
At the time of writing, only six planes operated by AirAsia Malaysia (carrier code AK), and two planes with AirAsia Thailand (FD) have been armed with the new equipment. The carrier says that the equipment will be rolled out to the rest of the fleet over the course of next year. The equipment in question refers to Inmarsat’s GX Aviation broadband, which makes use of the Ka-Band spectrum.
As of now, the plan for the rollout only applies to AirAsia flights. No plans have been annpinced for the long haul AirAsia X flights just yet.