AT&T to Launch Its Own In-flight Internet Service in 2015
April 29, 2014 5:35 AM
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AT&T to challenge GoGo for in-flight Wi-Fi dominance
It looks as though
in-flight internet providers
will have some stiff competition come next year. AT&T this week announced that it has plans to launch its own in-flight Wi-Fi services beginning in late 2015. AT&T’s service will be based on the high-speed LTE standard, and will require a massive buildout of a new air-to-ground network across the continental U.S.
“Everyone wants access to high-speed, reliable mobile Internet wherever they are, including at 35,000 feet,” said John Stankey, AT&T’s Chief Strategy Officer. “We believe this will enable airlines and passengers to benefit from reliable high speeds and a better experience. We expect this service to transform connectivity in the aviation industry – we are truly mobilizing the sky.”
AT&T is also billing its LTE-based service as having the “potential for improved communications between the plane and the ground through transmission of real-time aircraft data for optimizing, monitoring and evolving airlines’ operations.” This seems like a pretty direct response to the
tragic Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 incident
AT&T is partnering with Honeywell to develop hardware and services for its in-flight Wi-Fi venture.
Seeing as how the service is still well over a year from being deployed, AT&T has yet to start talking about potential pricing for the service. Although it would be a kind gesture if AT&T would at least offer discounts on in-flight Wi-Fi for existing wireless customers (but we’re not holding our breath on that one).
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RE: Sometimes it is nice...
4/29/2014 2:55:24 PM
Yeah, I think that too all the time, how nice it would be to simply not be reachable for a period of time.
Then I realize how much more often it's the case that I find myself bored and looking for something to do, or lacking some piece of information which should be easy to look up, or having forgotten some important business document.
I then realize that given the choice between the landline era where you might have to involve multiple people over the course of a few hours to track down someone and interrupt them to get a 10 second response and now where a SMS can poof on to their phone pretty much anywhere in the world that they can respond to at their leisure, I'd take now without a second thought.
Given the choice between then when the rich homes might actually have a recent full encyclopedia set and the rest of us had to go to a library for general information versus now where practically everyone has access to most of the world's information if not in their pocket then at least at home, there's obviously no choice.
Basically I totally get the desire to disconnect from time to time, but I don't want to be forced to when a situation comes up that connectivity might be nice. I might have a really good idea while staring out the airplane window and want to research some things and/or chat with friends/colleagues about it.
The technology is neither good nor bad, how it's used is what matters. Some people are unable or unwilling to set proper boundaries for themselves and/or their employers, family, friends, etc. but that doesn't mean that the rest of us shouldn't have access to something useful.
"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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