British Airways has teamed up with in-flight WiFi provider GoGo to bring 70Mbps broadband to long-haul flights.
V3 tested GoGo's 2Ku WiFi last month, and the service will soon be available on 118 British Airways planes, four Aer Lingus B757s and up to 15 Iberia long-haul aircraft, according to the International Airlines Group (IAG), marking the first time that the technology has been used outside the US.
The first aircraft to be kitted out with the technology is a British Airways B747-400, and the GoGo service will be available early next year.
GoGo 2Ku makes use of two Ku-band antennae to provide speeds of up to 70Mbps while at 30,000-odd feet in the air.
Michael Small, Gogo president and CEO, said: "We are delighted to bring Gogo’s industry-leading 2Ku technology to three of the most iconic brands in commercial aviation.
"2Ku is delivering a ground-like performance to aircraft flying around the world today. But one of the many benefits of our 2Ku technology is that it’s built on an open architecture and can leverage numerous Ku satellites around the world today and new advancements in the Ku-band coming online in the future."
Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, added: “This state-of-the-art technology will provide greater bandwidth, faster speed and broader coverage to our airlines' customers.
"Global connectivity is something they demand and we are providing high-quality connections with innovative technology solutions to improve the travel experience.
"This means the technology will get even better over time and will provide passengers with a superior connectivity now and in the future."
We went hands-on with 2Ku WiFi on board Gogo's own Boeing 737, nicknamed ‘Jimmy Ray', earlier this year, but were restricted to speeds of 20-25Mbps owing to the SES-4 satellite being used. But Gogo is confident that it will be able to provide speeds of up to 70Mbps.
Despite the capped 20-25Mbps speeds, we were able simultaneously to stream a programme on Amazon Prime Video, chat to colleagues on Skype and make use of Gogo's in-flight entertainment service accessible via a web browser.
The IAG said that it wants 90 per cent of its long-haul aircraft to have in-flight WiFi by 2019.
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