Do you still avoid in-flight Wi-Fi because it’s just too slow compared to the data speeds you get everywhere else? Leading Wi-Fi vendor Gogo is predicting huge improvements in the years ahead as it transitions to satellite-based technology from ground-based transmissions.
In a presentation to investors, and in a filing with the SEC, Gogo — which supplies Wi-Fi service to the bulk of the domestic aircraft that offer it — said that within five years, customers should be seeing data speeds of up to 100 megabits per second, up from the current peak of 10 Mbps. That’s good for tasks up to and including streaming video.
The company noted that satellite-based technology will give it worldwide coverage, increasing its potential customer base among airlines. Gogo dominates the domestic carrier market, holding contracts with Delta, Virgin America and American, among others. But Gogo’s not the fastest wi-fi around– most frequent travelers agree that JetBlue and United (both with their own proprietary satellite-based systems, not Gogo) win when it comes to speed.
Related: Gogo prices up 50%
The new 2ku satellite-based Wi-Fi is expected to cost airlines a lot less than the current technology, Gogo officials said, and is likely to increase passenger usage, bringing in more revenue.
The company said in its filing it expects the number of connected commercial aircraft worldwide to more than double over the next 18 years. It noted that its revenues have shown a compound annual growth rate of 62 percent over the last five years.
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