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Wendy is an IFE Agent responsible for aggregating airline news specifically related to Inflight entertainment. She compiles stories relevant to business travelers, airline industry folks, marketers and tech geeks. IFE News doesn't create original content, but rather posts compelling editorial from global media outlets.

Delta to Start Offering International WiFi Early Next Year

By Wailin Wong Tribune (Staff Reporter)

Delta Air Lines will start offering in-flight WiFi service on international flights early next year, the Atlanta-based carrier said Thursday.

Delta already has WiFi available on its entire domestic fleet of 550 mainline aircraft. The expansion to the international fleet will involve 150 aircraft, including transoceanic Boeing 757. By 2015, the company expects to operate about 1,000 WiFi-equipped aircraft in its worldwide fleet.

Itasca-based Gogo is the technology company behind Delta’s WiFi service. Gogo has so far focused on air-to-ground technology that uses land-based cell towers to beam signals to aircraft. However, going international requires developing satellite technology that will ensure connectivity when planes fly over water. Gogo is now building satellite technology, hoping to break into the lucrative international air travel market.

The satellite systems are three to four times more expensive than air-to-ground systems to install, and the process also takes longer. In addition, the satellite equipment is heavier and therefore requires more fuel burn. However, Gogo executives say passengers — particularly global business travelers — are eager for in-flight connectivity, and the company is interested in expanding beyond the domestic WiFi service it currently provides.

 

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