AT&T aims to take on Gogo, launch in-flight network based on LTE

Summary:Service will be available in late 2015 will provide Wi-Fi and entertainment. AT&T's air-to-ground network in the U.S. will be based on 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) standards.

There may be some connectivity competition in the skies. AT&T said Monday that it plans to build a 4G LTE in-flight service to compete with Gogo.

The telecom giant said that its service will be available in late 2015 will provide Wi-Fi and entertainment. AT&T's air-to-ground network in the U.S. will be based on 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) standards.

According to the company, it will be able to build the service with existing spectrum.

Gogo by the numbers: Scaling airline Internet

In a statement, John Stankey, chief strategy officer at AT&T, said using LTE standards will "enable airlines and passengers to benefit from reliable high speeds and a better experience."

The network will be built with the help of Honeywell.

What's unclear is how AT&T will compete with Gogo, which has already established its network and partnerships with carriers. AT&T said it will use "existing relationships within the aviation industry" to gain distribution. AT&T, however, could bundle in-flight plans with its existing wireless service. 

Pricing and availability will be announced before launch.

AT&T's move is designed to take advantage of frustrations with in-flight Wi-Fi, which can be clunky at times. Gogo, however, already has plans to improve its network and is launching international service too. Here's how Gogo sizes up the in-flight connectivity field. Add AT&T to that list. 

gogochart

Topics: Networking

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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