As our society of humans progresses in the twenty-first century, our need for fast WiFi is almost as great as our need for clean air and drinking water. Especially when we get on planes. As it stands, airplane WiFi still isn’t the most reliable or fast, but airplane Wifi provider Gogo wants to improve things... in 2018.
Before you get outraged, there’s a reason for this. See, in order to up the internet speed, Gogo will need to update the hardware on both cellular towers and on planes, reports The Wall Street Journal. That would take a while. From the story:
Gogo is a pioneer of in-flight internet, but its original network hasn’t had a major upgrade since launching in 2008, even as smartphones have multiplied and rivals have rolled out faster services. Instead, Gogo has used higher prices on planes to help control demand for its limited bandwidth. Even those willing to pay more than $30 for Gogo on a cross-country flight don’t get speeds good enough to stream videos.
For the most part, Gogo’s service is delivered through cell towers on the ground. A satellite network exists in about 250 planes, especially for ones flying over water. That still leaves the majority of the planes to the old system. The one that is in desperate need of an upgrade.
The original Gogo platform was built 10 years ago. Way before everyone and their dog had a smartphone. Planes receive WiFi speeds of about 10 megabits a second, and that’s the trough everyone has to drink from.
Gogo says that these changes will eventually make in-flight WiFi more affordable for people, but didn’t say how much it’s spending to make that happen.
Because you know that as soon as the WiFi speeds up, people are going to watch Netflix instead of paying for the in-flight movies. Remember when those were free everywhere?