British Airways to Offer Mid-Atlantic Texting

Passengers crossing the pond on British Airways can use the airline’s new service from City Airport to New York to send text messages and access the internet from the middle of the Atlantic.

 Although the service won’tlaunch later in the year, the new service,is business class only and will stop off in Ireland on the way to the US. According to the announcement, “stressed executives will be able to connect to a GSM picocell on the aircraft for data access and text messaging.”

The connectivity is provided by OnAir, and in turn by satellite company Inmarsat courtesy of a small dish mounted on the top of the aircraft and a connection to the Inmarsat-4 satellite. That should provide around half a MB of connectivity, along with the latency inevitably associated with geostationary satellite communications.

British Airlines isn’t saying how much flights are going to cost, or if the data connectivity will be bundled, but with no economy seats to bulk out the flight it’s not going to be inexpensive.