With more and more of my work bound to the internet, I got less and less done on flights. Then, I got a Google Chromebook Pixel with its 12 free Gogo in-flight US domestic Wi-Fi passes. Now, I'm a lot more productive in the air. I'm hooked. Soon, Gogo will be making its service even faster.
This Gogo offer is also available to users of other Chromebooks. These are the HP Chromebook 11, HP Chromebook 14, Acer C720/P Chromebook, Acer C7 Chromebook, Samsung Chromebook, Samsung Chromebook Series 5 550. These days, I'm willing to pay for access. The prices range from $5 for a single hour, $16 for a 24-hour pass, $59.95 for unlimited monthly internet, and $49.95 for unlimited access on a single airline.
Better still, Gogo is upping its game with its new 2Ku package. This new Wi-Fi service, which will be widely available in mid-2015, will push Gogo's speeds from approximately 3Mbps to 70Mbps. Now, that's impressive!
Up to now, Gogo worked by using an Air-To-Ground network of cellular towers. That not only limited Gogo's speeds, it also made it impossible to use for trans-oceanic flights. 2Ku, however, uses satellites for its connectivity so Gogo services will, theoretically, be available anywhere.
The first airline to put Gogo's new 2Ku service to the overseas test will be Virgin Atlantic, Gogo's first European partner. Under the agreement, all of Virgin Atlantic's existing aircraft will be retrofitted with Gogo's 2Ku.
According to a statement by Michael Small, Gogo's president and CEO, "Virgin Atlantic's relationship with Delta Air Lines will also allow us to build a seamless experience for passengers who fly both airlines." While Delta has yet to announce that it will be deploying 2Ku, as one of Gogo's first customers it seems almost certain they will. In the meantime, the honor of being Gogo's first 2Ku North American partner goes to Aeromexico.
While Gogo is the best known company for its in-flight internet, they're not the only one in the game. TTNET, Turkey's largest ISP, already provides satellite-based internet services for Turkish Airline passengers.
Soon, I think, almost all airlines will be offering in-flight Wi-Fi. That should make us both more productive — although at 70Mbps I can also see watching Netflix in the air as well.