Gogo In-Flight Internet Review -- Might Be The Best Thing For Airplanes Since Wings

Aircell’s newest service, the Gogo in-flight internet, may just revolutionize the way we all fly.  And it’s already working for you.  Try it out on your next flight.

So you’re about to jump on a plane.  Los Angeles to Kennedy, or maybe Chi-town’s chilly O’Hare.  You’re gonna have six or eight dead hours.  Sure, you bring some work stuff.  You grab that book you’ve been trying to get through or maybe two or twenty magazines.  But again... you’re aiming to survive the dreaded dead time.

Why is it dead?  Because normally you’re connected and in control.  Twenty texts, seven new emails and two calls.  And that’s during a boring hour.  So multiply that by six and that’s a lot of dead time and missed connections.

Over a Cup of Coffee

Thomas Weigman, Executive Vice President of Wireless Services at Aircell

And that brings us to Tom Weigman.  He’s the Executive Vice President of Wireless Services at Aircell.  Needless to say, he can answer just about any question you think up in this stretch of woods.  And this morning, we’re chewing around the internet over the breakfast table.

Meeting him, he’s a lot like your cool uncle.  High energy, tons of cool facts and trivia -- everything from travel to real estate to the best way to eat ice cream.  But your cool uncle always brings a new toy for you to play with.  And today, Weigman brings Gogo.

Gogo Saves You

See, Gogo in-flight internet does something better than Google, AT&T and JetBlue.  They make you happy by bringing life to your “dead time”.

After an extensive bidding war, Gogo owns majority of the high altitude broadband space. Yep, that means way up in the air--10,000 feet and above.  Aircraft territory.

What Makes Gogo So Good Good?

Couple things, really.  First is that Gogo uses the Ev-Do-Rev-A wireless technology.  Basically, it’s a powerful 3G data network, and that delivers you a strong signal.  Secondly, they got 92 cell sites spread across the United States to cover all aircraft travels.  So, think Atlantic to Pacific, north route and south route.  With each cell site covering two miles of signal, that’s some major real estate.

So now, those cells beam up the signal into the air where your passenger-occupied aircraft receives the data.  There’s two antennas on its belly.  A server inside the plane that hooks up to a wireless port and -- tada -- average airline passengers like you and me now have quality WiFi!

Wrinkles?  Not So Much....

Wait, wait!  Quality WiFi means internet.  Internet means Skype and phones...  ARRGHHG!  Crying babies are bad enough.  Will I be hearing my mile-high mates jawing about babysitters and “Grey’s Anatomy” for six hours straight?  Nope.  See, Gogo actually blocked the voice-over IP on the signal, so eh-eh on the Skype and no talkie-talkie.  

And it’s already happening.  At the moment there are over a hundred planes in the sky delivering this technology.  That’s a lot of happy flyers.  American Airlines, Delta Air, United and Virgin America.  And literally each company is equipping a couple more of their crafts each week.  They have commitments for hundreds now.  Odds are good that your next flight will have wireless.

How Do I get My Hands on...?

Right here, right now.  Or more literally, up there, right now.  So you want your WiFi.  I get it, I do too.  Things to keep in mind for the moment.  As stated above, not every aircraft has it...yet.  So look into that when booking your tickets.  Secondly, at the moment you’re gonna have to throw down some cash for the opportunity.  Mind you, not a lot.  Depends on flight length and device.  Breaks down like this: $12.95 for a trip over 3 hours if you’re piloting a laptop; $9.95 if it’s under 3 hours$7.95 for a hand-held (Blackberry, Iphone, etc.) regardless of flight-length.

Check out www.gogoinflight.com and www.aircell.com for more information.  They’re also on Facebook and Twitter and if you want moment-to-moment updates.

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