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Gogo gets going and obtains permission for Internet service on U.S.-Canada flights

Aug 28, 2012 12:34 pm

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When it launches at the end of 2013 it will primarily use U.S. airlines operating in and out of Canada.

— Jason Clampet

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Canadian regulators have cleared in-flight Wi-Fi provider Gogo to build out its network in the country, a move that will allow the Itasca-based company’s airline customers to offer service on flights between the U.S. and Canada.

The permission also paves the way for Gogo customers to offer in-flight Wi-Fi in Canada. Gogo said Tuesday it expects to start construction on Canadian cell sites in the fourth quarter of 2012 and have the network running by the end of 2013. The company’s technology uses an air-to-ground network consisting of land-based cell towers that beam signals to aircraft. Gogo service is available on more than 1,600 commercial aircraft including all domestic mainline Delta Air Lines planes as well as all flights on AirTran Airways and Virgin America. American Airlines and United Airlines also offer Gogo service on select flights. Passengers use their own Wi-Fi-enabled devices, such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, to access the broadband service.

The new Canadian network “will focus initially on Canadian routes served by Gogo’s existing U.S. and Canadian commercial airline customers,” the company said.

Gogo is also working on satellite technology, which allows for connectivity when planes fly over water. Delta plans to begin offering in-flight Wi-Fi service on international flights early next year.

(c)2012 the Chicago Tribune. Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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