Wednesday, August 20, 2008
American Airlines Kicks Off AirCell's In-Flight Internet Service
The "Prodigy" of aviation broadband service is taking off.
It's great that we are getting some type of Internet service on a plane. However, due to Aircell's limited bandwidth and scalability issues, I think we will see a much faster aviation broadband service leapfrog Aircell. We all know what happened to Prodigy.
From Reuters American Airlines kicks off in-flight Internet service.
AMR Corp's American Airlines began offering Internet access on long-haul domestic flights on Wednesday, making American the first U.S. airline to offer full in-flight broadband. The world's largest airline said its passengers on Boeing 767-200 aircraft can pay $12.95 for Internet access on nonstop flights between New York and San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, and New York and Miami.
American's mobile broadband service, which is called Gogo, is provided by AirCell. Each Gogo session includes full Internet access.
There are approximately 2000 planes in air at any one time in US or Europe and Aircell couldn't accommodate even a fraction of these planes.
I would keep an eye out for Harris Corp and their recently introduced aviation broadband service.
Harris, which does a ton of business with the FAA, recently announced an Air-to-ground solution (ATG) that has 10xs the capacity at same or lower cost. In most cases they offer 10-50x more bandwidth, 5-100xs lower cost per bit, and speeds up to 35 Mbps.
More discussions on aviation broadband.