A SpiceJet 737 on takeoff

Following SpiceJet launch, MojoBoxx W-IFE en route to more airlines

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Last year, Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet began offering complimentary wireless entertainment to passengers’ own devices onboard ten Boeing 737NG aircraft. The solution was developed in partnership with local technology start-up VuLiv, a company which has since rebranded as MojoBoxx. Now MojoBoxx founder Manoj Gupta tells Runway Girl Network that this portable W-IFE offering is in place on no fewer than 137 SpiceJet aircraft, and will launch across 14 more airlines over the next six months.

“We see the device as a magical box which connects the unconnected at 36,000ft above the ground. Mojo translates to magic and hence, we changed the name to MojoBoxx: a magical box,” Gupta explains in reference to VuLiv’s pivot to the new moniker. The extra “x” in the brand name, he adds, is for “the X factor” that MojoBoxx gives an airline that chooses to create a magical experience in the air with MojoBoxx.

The technology firm’s initial lightweight portable W-IFE — which launched on SpiceJet under the carrier’s SpiceScreen brand — uniquely features two off-the-shelf Android devices, one in the forward galley and one at the rear of the aircraft. The solution is now known as MojoBoxx 1.0. Last year during lockdown Gupta’s team developed MojoBoxx 2.0, a unified single box solution featuring the server and two access points, which can be placed in a central position in an aircraft.

In general, says Gupta, MojoBoxx 1.0 units are a perfect fit for regional and short-haul aircraft with 70-180 seats, while MojoBoxx 2.0 units can support long-haul aircraft with 220-330 seats. When the latter box is fully exploited, the battery lasts for 22 hours, and can be recharged via USB-C to 100% within one hour, according to Gupta. Airlines are responsible for charging the units.

Rotation

Rather than being a cost-center, MojoBoxx is programmed to generate ancillary revenues for airlines from Day 1, with Gupta declaring that the inflight experience is “100% CapEx free, 100% OpEx free”, the type of promise that attracted SpiceJet in the midst of the crushing COVID-19 crisis.

Indeed, the MojoBoxx platform is being positioned as a full stack travel ancillary solution for airlines looking to bridge the gap between on-the-ground interactions and inflight interactions. It is monetized via strategic partnerships with travel vertical leaders “in the space of stay, eat, explore, transit and shopping” — not just in-flight but right from the moment a passenger books a ticket at home until they return home, according to Gupta. Promotional offers for passengers are a prominent feature.

Specific to SpiceJet, the carrier’s pre-order and inflight food and beverage menu is made available on SpiceScreen, he says, and the application has seen strong take-up. “The adoption rate during the F&B launch touched up to 46% and we expect this to go even higher with the recent launch of [a] mid-air cab booking service or airport shopping and ‘buy now, pay later’ services in the upcoming season.”

Indeed, the mid-air cab booking service he references has been touted in the press, and is the most popular feature on the platform. It allows passengers “to avoid standing in long queues in pandemic times and straight away move to the waiting car at [the] exit gate with zero waiting. The cabs are offered with no cancellation charges and with special fares to airline customers.” This amenity is provided without an inflight Internet connection.

Gupta explains that each unit is provisioned with four channels of cellular connectivity which can be activated when the aircraft lands. And the boxes can be updated “100% remotely for content and usage analytics in real time using our in-house content management system”.

MojoBoxx will compete with a variety of portable W-IFE platforms on the market. But the Northern India company is targeting a specific demographic right now — the large, and largely unserved market of budget operators in India and other developing nations around India. Some 14 more airlines operating across India, Southeast Asia, Middle Eastern markets and countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) will deploy MojoBoxx in the next two quarters, Gupta reveals.

But MojoBoxx also has legacy airlines and widebody aircraft in its sights, with Gupta suggesting to RGN that MojoBoxx 2.0 “is a quick turn around solution to experiment with inflight experience revenues, even the seatback entertainment airline can use MojoBoxx’s feather light solutions for second screen travel commerce solutions” such as providing destination information to passengers’ own devices.

The touchless nature of MojoBoxx’s streaming solution might also be particularly attractive to COVID-cautious passengers who may not want to touch a seatback screen.

Bollywood content is obviously a draw for passengers in India, as are television programs, stand-up routines, OTT content, children’s specials, and travel-related channels — the type of content that SpiceJet now highlights as being part of SpiceScreen on its website. But MojoBoxx has also reached out to Hollywood studios and is “converging on closure with one of the world’s leading studios for our expansion beyond India”, says Gupta.

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Featured image credited to Boeing