70 Mbps Wi-Fi connections are coming to planes near you next year

Credit: Wikipedia

In-flight Wi-Fi is notorious for being unbearably slow. (There have been times where I paid up to $15 for an hour of service only to be unable to load anything other than Google.) Gogo Inc., the leading airline ISP shared some good news today: in-flight Wi-Fi on international flights is going to get a big boost in speed by the middle of next year.

Planes equipped with Gogo's new 2Ku antenna will be have access to Wi-Fi connections of up to 70 Mbps and eventually 100 Mbps. To put that into perspective, current in-flight speeds top out at 9.8 Mbps. Five years ago, Gogo's Wi-Fi speeds started at 3.1 Mbps. Now, that's what we call progress.

Not only is the new 2Ku antenna great for distributing more bandwidth and stronger signals over tropical regions, but the fact it's physically smaller — only 4.5-inches — also helps reduce drag on the airplane. Gogo says the antenna makes it "the most TV friendly solution in the market." So, does that mean we'll finally get local TV broadcasts?

Japan Airlines is the first airline to sign up for 2Ku trials. If all goes well, more airlines will likely follow suit to offer high-speed Internet for its passengers.

Faster in-flight Internet is great if you get bored easily, but it also means business folk won't be able to escape the wraths of their bosses, even when they're 35,000 miles up in the air. It's going to suck to be them.

Gogo (PDF), via The Verge

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