Digital

Gogo Inches Toward Offering In-Flight Wi-Fi on International Flights

Dec 03, 2013 8:00 am

Skift Take

In-flight connectivity is improving quickly: The U.S. and Europe announced device usage was allow during take-offs and landings last month and service providers are rushing to provide a better connection.

— Samantha Shankman

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Shares of Gogo rose Monday after the company, which provides Internet service during airline flights, said Monday that it moved one step closer to offering international service.

On U.S. airlines, Gogo has only offered service on domestic flights.

Gogo said that it received certification to install its satellite-based technology on Boeing 747-400 jumbo jets, which several airlines use for international flights.

The company said it would start testing the service immediately, offer it for customer use by the first quarter of next year, and continue installing equipment on 747-400s throughout 2014.

A Gogo spokesman said that Delta Air Lines and Japan Airlines have agreed to install the satellite equipment on their international planes. The Federal Aviation Administration requires certification before equipment can be added to planes.

Separately, Gogo recently announced that it will provide a service that lets passengers send and receive text messages and phone calls using Wi-Fi. A company spokesman said Monday that it expects U.S. airlines to begin testing text-only service next year but that they seem uninterested in permitting phone calls.

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed allowing in-flight phone calls, which are already technologically possible over Wi-Fi, but airlines have blocked such service for fear of alienating passengers who prefer quiet cabins.

Gogo shares added $3.64, or 14 percent, to $30.31 in afternoon trading.

Copyright (2013) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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