Gogo is likely looking to own the in-flight Wi-Fi experience and market from all angles and ending all partnerships that don't directly power and push its own brand.
Gogo, the Itasca-based provider of inflight Wi-Fi, has discontinued its deal to provide roaming Internet access for customers of Boingo, which provides Wi-Fi in airports, according to a notice sent to Boingo customers Monday.
That means customers using a Boingo hotspot in an airport to surf the Web will no longer be able to use the same sign-on to continue Internet access when in the air.
“Because you’re a loyal Boingo user who has logged in to the inflight Wi-Fi services provided by our partner Gogo, we thought it was important to let you know that effective June 1, that will no longer be possible,” says the customer notice from Boingo. “We’d like to apologize for this change, since we know our customers really appreciated this convenience.”
The note said that with rising demand, inflight Wi-Fi has “become a scarce commodity of sorts” and that Gogo, a partner since 2011, opted not to renew its roaming contract with Boingo. It notes that Boingo still has roaming agreements with Deutsche Telekom, which provides inflight access on overseas flights for nine international airlines.
In using Boingo inflight roaming, customers still had to pay Gogo rates for inflight Internet access but could use their Boingo account and sign-ins, a Boingo spokeswoman said. The benefit was ease of use, not discounted access.
A spokesman for Gogo did not reply to a request for comment.
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Photo credit: People use their smart devices on an American Airlines airplane, which is equipped with Gogo Inflight Internet service, enroute from Miami to New York December 10, 2013. Carlo Allegri / Reuters