Delta to Offer In-Flight Wi-Fi On Entire Fleet By Summer 2009

This morning Aircell, providers of GoGo in-flight Wi-Fi, announced that its services would be available on Delta’s entire domestic fleet by next summer. Delta is the third airline to offer Aircell’s product, joining American Airlines and Virgin America. However, it is the first major airline to offer it on every aircraft. American Airlines currently offers Wi-Fi on its flights from New York to LA, Miami, and San Francisco and is only available on 15 of American Airlines’ Boeing 767-200 aircraft. Virgin America plans to offer the service on its entire flight, thirty planes, by the end of the year. Gogo will cost $9.95 for fliers to have access to 3 hours or less of in-flight Wi-Fi and $12.95 on longer flights, and will initially be available on 133 of Delta’s McDonnel Douglas 88/90 aircraft. Aircell’s president and CEO, Jack Blumenstein, told us during an interview for our August issue that Aircell promises to deliver 3.1Mbps of throughput to the airline’s cabin, and the entire aircraft will need to share this bandwidth. However, Aircell also has plans to offer 1-terabyte of onboard services for quick and speedy access to bonus content, like the Wall Street Journal and Frommer’s, video, audio, and television, as well as Web cached Web sites for quicker loading times. You can access the Wi-Fi network from either your phone, PDA, or laptop. Each aircraft is equipped with three antennas that communicate with CDMA/EVDO Rev. A data networks.

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