High-speed 4G LTE-based in-flight connectivity service from AT&T is coming for airlines and passengers in commercial, business and general aviation. The solution will be capable of providing in-flight broadband for users including fast, reliable Wi-Fi and onboard entertainment. Following the launch, users can also expect improved connectivity solutions such as cockpit communications, maintenance operations and crew services.
To deliver this new service, the company plans on building an air-to-ground network in the continental United States—based on global 4G LTE standards—to provide fast speeds and efficient utilization of spectrum.
“Everyone wants access to high-speed, reliable mobile Internet wherever they are, including at 35,000 feet,” said John Stankey, Chief Strategy Officer at AT&T. “We are building on AT&T’s strengths to develop in-flight connectivity technology…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—by mobilizing the sky.”
Working with Honeywell
Honeywell recently issued its Wireless Connectivity Survey indicating that in-flight Wi-Fi currently causes frustrations for nearly 9 in 10 users worldwide, most often due to inconsistent or slow connections. AT&T plans to work with Honeywell to provide hardware and service capabilities to deliver the in-flight connectivity solution.
With the planned new network, passengers will gain mobile capabilities such as browsing the Internet, checking email, keeping in touch with friends and family through social networking and messaging services and increasing business productivity. The network also offers the potential for improved communications between the plane and the ground through transmission of real-time aircraft data for optimizing, monitoring and evolving airlines’ operations.