Faster wifi at 39,000ft is due soon in the US, after watchdogs give OK
Inflight wifi speeds are about to see a step-change spike because Gogo Inflight, a leading airline internet provider in the US, has received final-stage Federal Aviation Administration approval for better antennas.
The new antennas promise internet speeds of up to 70 megabytes-per-second, supposedly. Yet even if they don’t reach those speeds in reality, anything faster would be better than today’s inflight sluggish standard.
Sadly, the long teased service improvement is still more than a year away from becoming a common.
First Gogo has to continue to do tests. Then it has to install its new 2Ku equipment on aircraft — something that will start happening in earnest until 2016.
United and Virgin American are first in the queue to try the 2ku equipment. They’re among seven airlines willing to have the equipment installed on about 500 planes total.
Airlines like the new equipment because it is more compact and is less likely to suffer from bird strikes. Gogo explains:
“2Ku uses mechanically-phased-array antennas. These antennas represent the next generation of airborne antenna design. Rather than physically pointing toward the target satellite, these antennas create a beam in the desired direction by mechanically rotating a series of internal plates with carefully designed resonance characteristics.”
It was eight months ago that the Federal Communications Commission approved Gogo’s technology.
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