AT&T, the nation’s second largest mobile carrier, thinks the sky’s the limit.
For that reason, the company announced plans this week to launch a high-speed 4G LTE-based in-flight connectivity service for airlines and passengers in commercial, business and general aviation.
Few details are known beyond the stated objective to launch the service in late 2015.
AT&T says the service will be capable of providing in-flight broadband for customers including fast, reliable Wi-Fi and onboard entertainment. Following launch, aviation customers can also expect improved connectivity solutions such as cockpit communications, maintenance operations and crew services.
To deliver this new service, AT&T plans to build an air-to-ground network in the continental United States, based on global 4G LTE standards, to provide fast speeds and efficient utilization of spectrum already owned by AT&T.
“Everyone wants access to high-speed, reliable mobile Internet wherever they are, including at 35,000 feet,” said John Stankey, Chief Strategy Officer at AT&T. “We are building on AT&T’s significant strengths to develop in-flight connectivity technology unlike any other that exists today, based on 4G LTE standards. We believe this will enable airlines and passengers to benefit from reliable high speeds and a better experience. We expect this service to transform connectivity in the aviation industry – we are truly mobilizing the sky.”