Row 44 and Wireless G Bring Cyberspace to South African Airspace
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. and HIGHVELD PARK, South Africa, May 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Row 44, Inc., provider of the world’s leading In-Flight Broadband Entertainment Ecosystem, and its African partner, Wireless G, in association with Mango and Vodacom, launched G-Connect In-Flight Wi-Fi on Africa’s first broadband Internet-enabled flight. The service provides Mango’s passengers with full Internet connectivity through their personal WiFi-enabled devices. Services include email, web browsing, access to all social networks, and a web-based air-to-ground SMS service.
On the launch, Wednesday evening at Lanseria Airport near Johannesburg, Wireless G and its South African partners made the following statements:
“The G-Connect In-Flight Wi-Fi service is offered in a totally new, integrated model which is a first of its kind in the world and which can be regarded as a new carrier-grade telecommunications access medium,” said Wireless G CEO, Carel van der Merwe. “Social networks and the tsunami of next generation Wi-Fi enabled devices and the related converged ecosystems makes in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity more relevant. Moreover, the specific way in which it is offered as an integrated telecommunications Internet access medium, is essential for our future convergence plans,” said van der Merwe.
Mango CEO Nico Bezuidenhout said that the introduction of on-board connectivity fulfils the airline’s on-going ideal of innovation in aviation and its desire for product differentiation. “In a highly competitive market where everything tastes like chicken, it’s important to taste like beef. Innovation is a cornerstone of our business along with sustained affordable fares that are relative to the prevailing market.”
Vodacom provides the satellite infrastructure to ensure that the G-Connect In-Flight Wi-Fi service will keep people connected even as they travel at over 800km/h. “This takes the notion of a mobile device to a whole new level – literally. We know how much customers value being connected; in fact 88% of people surveyed said they’d like to have broadband access when they fly. Vodacom prides itself on having the widest network coverage and thanks to our satellite technology the sky is no-longer the limit,” said Sipho Maseko, CEO of Vodacom.
“Row 44 congratulates Wireless G and its partners, Mango and Vodacom, on this impressive accomplishment in being the first partnership to deliver a true in-flight broadband experience to South Africa, one of the world’s most important commercial and cultural centers,” said Row 44′s CEO, John LaValle. “We are proud to be part of this partnership and look forward to supporting continued innovation with this team.”
The roll-out of the G-Connect In-Flight Wi-Fi service is underway and Mango’s entire fleet will be outfitted by the end of the year.
About Row 44, Inc.
Row 44, Inc. provides the world’s leading In-Flight Broadband Entertainment Ecosystem for commercial airlines. The company’s flying Wi-Fi hotspot — which delivers the world’s fastest aviation broadband speeds to passengers — provides airlines with an unmatched selection of revenue-generating and experience-enhancing entertainment, shopping and destination services. The company is partnering with innovative airlines around the globe to improve the commercial flying experience — including world-renowned Southwest Airlines and Market Leadership Award recipient Norwegian Air Shuttle. For more information, visit www.row44.com.
About Wireless G
Wireless G was founded in 2002 and has since established itself as a leader and innovator in the South African broadband market. Being the first to converge various networks, operators and platforms into a single revolutionary offering, Wireless G is fast evolving into one of South Africa’s leading telecommunications enabling enterprises. Wireless G is also the only South African company who have converged and offers 3G, ADLS, Wi-Fi and In-Flight Wi-Fi on a single online platform.
For more information visit www.gconnect.co.za.
SOURCE Row 44, Inc.