Posted on: 29 April 2014 by Mark Howells
AT&T, a specialist in Wi-Fi communications, is set to unveil a new high-speed 4G LTE-based in-flight connectivity service for airlines and business aviation operators.
The service is scheduled to be available at the end of 2015 and will be capable of providing in-flight broadband including fast, reliable Wi-Fi and on-board entertainment. Following launch, aviation customers can also expect improved connectivity solutions such as cockpit communications, maintenance operations and crew services.
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 utilisation of spectrum already owned by AT&T.
“We are building on AT&T’s significant strengths to develop in-flight connectivity technology unlike any other that exists today, based on 4G LTE standards,” commented John Stankey, Chief Strategy Officer at AT&T. “We believe this will enable airlines and passengers to benefit from reliable high speeds and a better experience.”
AT&T plans to work with Honeywell to provide hardware and service capabilities to deliver the in-flight connectivity solution. With AT&T’s planned new network, passengers can browse the internet, check email, keep in touch with friends and family through social networking and messaging services, and increase business productivity. AT&T’s in-flight connectivity also offers transmission of real-time aircraft data from the plane to the ground for optimizing, monitoring and evolving airlines’ operations.
AT&T claims that in-flight connectivity is a natural fit for the company, which over the past six years has invested more than $140 billion into its wireless and wireline networks. AT&T has more than 116 million wireless subscribers, more than 16.5 million total broadband subscribers and serves global corporations, including all of the Fortune 1000.
AT&T plans to deliver an innovative and high-performing in-flight connectivity and entertainment service, building on existing relationships within the aviation industry. The in-flight connectivity service is scheduled to support both business aviation and commercial airline customers from day one of the launch.