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AT&T Targets GoGo, Will Offer In-Flight Internet
by Karl Bode 10:36AM Tuesday Apr 29 2014
Aircell's GoGo has so far managed to dominated the slow-starting U.S. in-flight broadband market, but it appears that they will soon have some deep-pocketed competition. AT&T has announced the company will be jumping into the in-flight broadband market with a service of their own the company states could be available "as soon as late 2015." AT&T will be working with Honeywell’s aerospace division to develop both broadband and "onboard" entertainment systems for aircraft.

"To deliver this new service, AT&T plans to build an innovative air-to-ground network in the continental United States, based on global 4G LTE standards, to provide fast speeds and efficient utilization of spectrum already owned by AT&T," the company said in a statement. "As the architect and operator of the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network**, AT&T has the expertise, spectrum and financial strength to transform airborne connectivity."

While GoGo has cornered the in-flight broadband market (facing at least one lawsuit over their exclusive deals with airports), usage has been measured as many customers balk at paying higher rates for service. GoGo last fall announced they're working on technology that should significantly speed up existing services.

It should be interesting to see if AT&T, with their deep pockets and lobbying muscle, can somehow manage to kick GoGo out of the catbird seat. It's hard to think AT&T would be disruptive on price (not something they're known for), but it's possible they could deliver a more consistent network experience.

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ptbarnett

join:2002-09-30
Lewisville, TX

GoGo has been bleeding money...

They still aren't turning a profit.

I don't remember the exact numbers, but GoGo is only getting about half as many users as they need to break even.

I don't think these are the right numbers, but for example: they need about 20% of the passengers on each plane with GoGo service to pay for the service during the flight, and they are only getting about 10%.

The percentage has been increasing slowly. But, it's still a long way away from profitability. And GoGo raised monthly subscription prices at the beginning of last year. That led to my cancellation, although I was already considering it because I wasn't traveling as much.

AT&T may compete on price, but I doubt it will be the price to the consumer. They are likely to offer the airline a better deal (fixed fees, revenue sharing) in order to displace the incumbent GoGo.

OSUGoose

join:2007-12-27
Columbus, OH

Just buy GoGo....

It will be less expensive then starting from scratch, plus you could promote that AT&T Internet or Wireless customers get free access, just like they did with their WiFi HotSpots.
Big Dawg 23

join:2002-03-27
Northfield, MN

Re: Just buy GoGo....

I would love to get access on flight as an AT&T. I fly a lot and use GO-GO but at times depending in business travelers the speed is beyond pathetic.