You can look forward to the day — most likely during this decade — when transoceanic Internet access will be routine on board most commercial airlines.
Lufthansa’s FlyNet service already is providing such broadband access on many North Atlantic, Middle East and South America flights. With WLAN-enabled devices, Lufthansa passengers on board outfitted Airbus A330s can connect to the Internet, send emails and attachments, and tie into their company intranets via a virtual private network.
And, now US-based Gogo has taken steps that it hopes will lead to present and future airline partners providing broadband service when flying over the US, Europe and across the Atlantic.
Gogo signed what it calls a “strategic memorandum of understanding” with SES, which operates a contingent of some 50 geostationary satellites, to deliver satellite-powered Internet access to an airline seat and aisle near you.
Gogo “plans to utilize high-throughput Ku-band capacity on current and future SES multi-beam satellites serving the continental United States, the Altantic Ocean region and Europe,” the company states.
A US-based broadband provider, Gogo plans to use a variety of technology solutions, including air to ground and ATG-4 technologies, Ku-band satellites, and Inmarasat’s Global Xpress Ka-band satellites, to accomplish its Internet-connectivity mission.
Of course, the goal is not to stop at the US and Europe, as Gogo says: “Gogo is actively working with SES and other operators to expand the coverage globally.”
Road warriors and some leisure travelers, too, will eventually see transoceanic Wi-Fi as the 11th commandment.