If you’ve ever used WiFi on an airplane, you know it’s terribly slow. Convenient in that you can send an email or other quick message from 35,000 feet in the air, but it’s dreadfully slow should you try to do anything even remotely in-depth. AT&T is trying to end that headache of convenience with in flight LTE service, they’ve announced.
The move pits AT&T against Row 44, and the more popular Gogo in-flight WiFi. In a statement, AT&T Cheif Strategy Officer John Stanke had the following to say:
Everyone wants access to high-speed, reliable mobile Internet wherever they are, including at 35,000 feet. We are building on AT&T’s significant strengths to develop in-flight connectivity technology unlike any other that exists today, based on 4G LTE standards. 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.
There were no specifics on pricing, but AT&T said it “does not expect additional capital expenditures required for this initiative to be material”. That likely measn AT&T expects the service to pay for itself — or rather that whatever the cost is, our out-of-pocket will cover it.