It’s easy to take WiFi for granted… until it’s just not there. For those of you who have been frustrated with in-flight WiFi, there’s finally some good news: it’s about to get 10x faster by 2018.
Gogo is the biggest WiFi provider to the major airlines. To understand why WiFi on airplanes is normally pretty bad, it’s important to know how in-flight WiFi works.
While there are technological, infrastructural, and geographical limitations when it comes to getting good WiFi on planes, the simple fact that the total bandwidth is divided by all the passengers accessing it is the major reason why airplanes need faster total speeds.
According to Gogo’s official press release, the plan is to upgrade both ground-based and satellite-based networks to boost the total speed to over 100 Mbps. This means that if 10-20 passengers are actively using the data, each passenger will get about 5-10 Mbps.
The ground based-network will use LTE technology and build upon the company’s existing tower infrastructure. By leveraging the existing infrastructure, Gogo minimizes its upgrade costs. Meanwhile, upgrades to the airplane’s technology simply involve a new modem and blade antenna.
The result is a 10x increase over current speeds, which may be a small step for WiFi, but it’s a giant leap for your in-flight connection.