AT&T Thinks It Can Provide Seamless Wi-Fi at 30,000 Feet
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The telecommunications company announced yesterday that it's working on a way to provide in-flight Internet connections for some airlines by building a new air-to-ground network based on 4G LTE.
"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," the company said in a statement.
Taking a not-so-subtle jab at current in-flight Internet providers like Gogo (whose stock plummeted after AT&T's announcement), the company cited a recent survey done by Honeywell, "indicating that in-flight Wi-Fi currently causes frustrations for nearly nine in 10 users worldwide, most often due to inconsistent or slow connections."
AT&T is on it, though. According to the company, its in-flight WiFi connection will be faster than the current available options because it has the expertise, spectrum and financial strength to provide a stronger network. It will also be partnering with Honeywell to install all necessary equipment on planes.
If AT&T can truly provide a faster connection at 30,000 feet, how much will it cost? And which airlines will this transformed airborne connectivity be available on?
No word yet. "AT&T will provide information on pricing and availability prior to launch," the company said.