Gogo and its inflight broadband service went public last week. At the time of the offering it was valued at about $1.5 billion, but today it is valued at $1.2 billion despite having a near monopoly on U.S. inflight broadband.
Will there be a day when we shall see commercial planes connecting to the Internet at LTE speeds? A recent test by Ericsson gives hope to the possibility, though it is more likely that superfast trains are more likely to see LTE speeds.
This Crackle-distributed web series, shot in Paris, starring a Hong Kong actor, and deliberately produced with the barest minimum of dialogue, is a truly international production that’s also a fresh and exciting 21st century thriller. And it’s got one heck of a twist ending.
US Airways has become the latest airline to launch Gogo Inflight Internet service. The service will be available on all 51 A321s in US Airways’ fleet by June 1. In addition to US Airways, Gogo is currently available on all AirTran Airways and Virgin America flights.
Aircell, the company behind wildly popular GoGo in-flight broadband, has raised $176 million in funds from an undisclosed group of investors. GoGo is available on more than 700 aircraft and adding more — which means the company will have to build out its network aggressively.
When I got on a plane to visit Orlando, Fla., earlier this morning, I thanked my stars when I found out that I was on a Delta flight with GoGo in-flight Wi-Fi. But after 30 minutes or so, the service became unusable.
In-flight broadband’s story so far has been similar to that of airplanes sitting on the runway, waiting for clearance to take flight. Despite a big push from Boeing and other major international carriers, in-flight broadband was stuck on ground, burning dollars like an idle plane burns gas. No more! Thanks to new surface-to-air technologies used by companies such as Aircell, the business is ready for takeoff. Read More about After Long Delays, In-Flight Broadband Is Taking Off
American Airlines (s amr), which has so far been offering the Gogo in-flight wireless broadband on nonstop flights between New York JFK and San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Miami, says that it will add the service to an additional 300 planes over the next two years. American will install the Aircell system on its domestic MD-80 and Boeing 737-800 aircraft fleets, beginning with 150 MD-80 aircraft this year. I see this as a good way to capitalize on a captive audience with nowhere to go. With service that costs between $7.95 and $12.95 based on the length of the flight, it is one helluva racket. The downside of this good news: We need to update our In-Flight Broadband Cheat Sheet.
Alaska Airlines (s alk) has started a trial of satellite broadband technology from California-based Row 44 that will allow customers to get — what else? — Internet when on the go. Row 44 had predicted commercial rollout of its service in 2009. This new service will be called Alaska Airlines Inflight Wi-Fi; the trial will begin on an afternoon flight between Seattle and San Jose, Calif., and will run for about 60 days. If successful, the airline will roll out the service to its entire fleet. Row 44 has tied up with Southwest Airlines (s luv) and is challenging Aircell and its gogo service. Aircell has teamed up with Virgin America, American Airlines (s amr), Delta and others. Row 44 used Ku band satellites, while Aircell is based on an air-to-ground system. JetBlue-owned (s jblu) LiveTV and ViaSat (s vsat) are two other players vying to carve out a piece of the inflight broadband market. (Related: Inflight Broadband Cheat Sheet & Boeing, Boeing… Gone.)
In-flight broadband will take to the skies this spring. Passengers flying Virgin America and American Airlines in and out of New York will be offered gogo, a new service from Aircell that the company claims will provide broadband speeds in the friendly skies of 2 megabits per second.