Passengers flying British Airways (BA) will get to use internet-based services like Skype, FaceTime, and Netflix starting 2017. Parent company IAG recently signed with Chicago-based Gogo, which will help the airline add Wi-Fi to its long haul flights.
Gogo is famous as one of the leading broadband internet services providers on flights. The company will set up its own next-gen Wi-Fi system by the name of 2Ku, on 118 BA airplanes. The organization has said that the satellite technology makes use of 2 flat panel antennas to bring network speeds reaching 70 Mbps on board.
The first airplane with this feature will be in 2017, although a big part of the installation will only be completed by 2019. BA is already claiming this will be the fastest internet provided on long flights.
Word is that the company spent over £30m ($43.43m) on the deal, which brings the expense per flight to around £250,000. Basic services can be gotten for free, but customers may have to pay extra for premium services and connections. Meanwhile, IAGH also has other partners such as Iberia and Aer Lingus installing the 2Ku on their flights.
Chief executive Willie Walsh said about the development, “We believe this will be the best Wi-Fi on international flights anywhere. This will be exactly as if you are connected to Wi-Fi in your house. We’ll be able to have everybody on board using multiple devices and we’re going to get speeds that are similar to you being at home.”
Walsh added that the company recognizes how frustrating faulty Wi-Fi can be for passengers. The new technology guarantees consistent connectivity. IAG isn’t the sole airline to have set up a deal with Gogo. There is also Delta Air Lines, which has a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic, as well as a few other airlines, which have signed a similar deal with the in-flight internet services provider.
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