Travel Tech News: AT&T Working to Build In-Flight 4G LTE Service
If you are a frequent flier and use wifi on planes services like Gogo, etc., you may know how painful it can be to use. Oftentimes, these types of services time out or go super slow, which can handicap your ability to get some work done while you are up in the air. Currently, there aren’t many options for in-flight wifi, but AT&T is working to change that with the announcement of their 4G LTE service that is specially designed for in-flight usage. It is being touted as an “4G LTE-based air-to-ground service to transform connectivity for the U.S. aviation industry and its passengers”.
Per the press release:
DALLAS, TEXAS, April 28, 2014 — AT&T* today announced plans to launch a high-speed 4G LTE-based in-flight connectivity service for airlines and passengers in commercial, business and general aviation. The service, planned to be available as soon as late 2015, will be capable of providing in-flight broadband for customers including fast, reliable Wi-Fi and onboard entertainment. Following launch, aviation customers can also expect improved connectivity solutions such as cockpit communications, maintenance operations and crew services.
To deliver this new service, AT&T plans to build an innovative air-to-ground network in the continental United States, based on global 4G LTE standards, to provide fast speeds and efficient utilization of spectrum already owned by AT&T. As the architect and operator of the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network**, AT&T has the expertise, spectrum and financial strength to transform airborne connectivity.
This is indeed great news for travelers who want a steadier, more reliable connection while flying. In-flight broadband is a game changer for sure. Imagine being able to stream movies and other entertainment options while in the sky (currently with Gogo, you cannot stream certain services while in flight).
This service won’t be available until late 2015, and it will be interesting to see what airlines AT&T partners with. Having something like this available on one carrier could make that a top choice for business flyers for sure, since many of them use in-flight wifi.
Good going, AT&T. I will be bringing you more news about this new service as I get it.