The only thing worse than no internet is slow internet, and the worst place to have slow internet is when you are sitting in an aeroplane with crappy in flight service and nothing to do until you land in your destination. While most airlines these days offer in-flight WiFi, the signal is so poor that it would have been better if there was no internet at all!
All that could change with a new technology that’s waiting FAA approval. GoGo, the largest firm that provides WiFi solutions for airliners, has developed a new system that guarantees high speed internet even if you are 20,000 feet in the sky.
Currently, air-to-ground signals are used to provide WiFi in planes. Specially designed antennas are used to boost the signals and receive them way up in the atmosphere. However, even with the most sophisticated equipment, it is difficult to provide internet with speeds exceeding a meagre 10 Mbps.
The new technology however, ditches any contact with the ground and instead, resorts to communication directly with satellites in orbit. GoGo’s new system uses a pair of powerful K Band antennas that will establish a direct link with satellites. And this system will supposedly provide speeds of up to 70 Mbps.
The new system has been approved for testing by FAA, and will be first tested in a Boeing 737 aeroplane. If the test is successful, then GoGo plans to roll it out in 500 planes belonging to seven airlines. Gradually, the list will be increased.