ANAHEIM, Calif., Sept. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Row 44, a subsidiary of Global Eagle Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENT), and Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES) announced today that satellite coverage to connect airline passengers on Row 44 WiFi-equipped flights has expanded further across Europe, within Russia and for the first-time, connects North America and Europe with North Atlantic coverage. Row 44 and Hughes have entered into three large, multi-year contracts, which include the provision of space segment, Network Operations Center (NOC) operations, maintenance and other ancillary services. The agreement includes significant capacity increases to Row 44's leased bandwidth, which now supports customers on four continents.
Row 44, a leading provider of satellite-based inflight WiFi and device-based entertainment for airlines around the world, also announces that it completed its first installation aboard an Icelandair 757, with more installations to continue through the remaining 3 rd and 4 th quarters of 2013. Installations of the Row 44 connectivity platform now exceed 500 aircraft on four continents.
"Our partnership with Hughes is a tremendous asset for us, as it has afforded us the ability to offer our customers a connection to the world's most advanced and expertly operated satellite network," said John LaValle, Chief Executive Officer of Global Eagle Entertainment. "Through Hughes, we continue to be well-positioned for global growth with our industry-leading technology and our integrated content and connectivity platform."Recent additions beyond the expansion of the domestic capacity to the Row 44 fleet include leasing transponders on IS905 for Europe and Yamal 300k for Russia, which are both active today, and on two beams of SES 6 for the North Atlantic, which are scheduled to activate in October. "Hughes and Row 44 have built upon a deep technology and service collaboration to support the launch of new services for their in-cabin connectivity platform," said Paul Gaske, Executive Vice President and General Manager, North American Division for Hughes. "Our expertise in broadband satellite solutions and services has bolstered the performance of the Row 44 network and contributes substantially to the ongoing performance of both the inflight connectivity and live TV products." Row 44 operates its inflight connectivity service with a network of Ku-band satellites over which Hughes provides high-quality ground systems operations. In addition to delivering consistent, universal coverage for WiFi connectivity, Ku-band is also the only broadband technology, whether satellite or air-to-ground, that can cost-effectively deliver live television programming to all aircraft in a large continental region.