In-Flight WiFi Getting An Upgrade
Gone are the days when flying was an excuse to disconnect from work. But, in-flight Wi-Fi hasn’t nearly been the experience we’ve expected. It can be annoying. You get on a plane and just before the door closes you get an email or text that you need to respond to and you think to yourself: “I’ll just do this once we get in the air.” The plane takes off, you climb past 32,000 feet, the flight attendants announce that Internet is now available and all of a sudden you’ve arrived in 1996.
It’s worse than dial-up. Or, at least, it feels like it. You wait for the sign-in page to load, watching the process on the bottom of your browser while you order a drink, take your lunch, eat it, order a second drink and prepare for landing. Okay, I’m exaggerating. But it’s slow. It also doesn’t help that the more people trying to use it, slows it down. Once you’ve gotten it working you may be able to check email and send a few texts, but that’s about it. Don’t even think about streaming a video from YouTube and Netflix? You can’t even open the app or website.
Well, Gogo Air, the largest provider of in-flight connectivity is saying that’s about to change thanks to a new satellite internet system known as 2KU and a new modem that helps leverage new technology which can help to improve speeds.
Gogo is claiming that speeds on board will rise by about 4 times their current speed and the aircraft can receive up to 70+ Mbps download speeds. Additionally, connectivity will be available gate-to-gate. In fact, one of their Executive VP’s has said: “It is significantly faster and provides significatly more capacity than has ever been brought to aviation before.”
Currently 1,600 aircraft from 13 airlines are committed to receive the internet upgrade. According to their website Delta and American Airlines are on the list.
So, hopefully, in the near future when you climb through 32,000 ft you can do so with 21st Century Internet speeds and pass the time emailing or watching your favorite show on Hulu or Netflix. If not, it’s a perfect time to take a nap.