AT&T has announced plans to bring its 4G LTE service to airlines by late 2015. According to a survey by Honeywell, nine out of ten users indicated frustration with the current Wi-Fi service offered in-flight. Recognizing the abysmal state of in-flight Wi-Fi service, AT&T will offering faster and more reliable Wi-Fi service for business and commercial use.
The new service will require AT&T to build a new air-to-ground network that will span the continental United States. AT&T’s air-to-ground network will utilize existing spectrum and broadcast its 4G LTE network upwards to planes. The planes will than rebroadcast it as a Wi-Fi signal within the cabin. This will bring reliability, stability and faster data speeds to airlines.
AT&T will work with Honeywell to provide hardware to deliver the in-flight service. The new service will not only be beneficial to consumers who use Wi-Fi on planes, but it could also be utilized by the aviation industry to provide better communications between airplanes and ground support.
While the service won’t be available on your next flight, AT&T plans to have this available by late 2015. Although AT&T has not announced pricing, it will be competing with Gogo Inc. Gogo is an existing in-flight Internet service that offers Wi-Fi on a large number of domestic airlines and also utilizes air-to-ground technology.
Source: AT&T | Image via AT&T