Aircell is eliminating unlimited service plans for new service activations to its Gogo Biz air-to-ground network, beginning July 16. After that date, existing unlimited service contracts will be subject to a “grandfathering” option, which continues unlimited service until Dec. 15, 2016. Rate plans are changing, too, but customers will get more data for the same price under the new lowest-cost plan. Two new plans have been added at the 2.5 and 5 GB levels.
Gogo Inflight Internet
Aircell has expanded its terrestrial air-to-ground network into Canada and now Aircell-equipped aircraft can use the service for Internet access and voice service in Canada, Alaska and the continental U.S. for no additional charge. The new Canadian coverage reaches into the country’s southern territories and along its western borders with Alaska. “The debut of Gogo Biz service in Canada culminates a multi-year development program and we’re pleased to see it go live,” said Aircell executive v-p and general manager John Wade.
Telecommunications provider AT&T plans to build a new air-to-ground network in the continental U.S. to support faster, fourth-generation (4G) inflight broadband service for airliners and business jets. Avionics manufacturer Honeywell has an agreement in principle to be the exclusive supplier of onboard hardware, the companies said on April 28.
Elliott Aviation has received FAA STC approval for the activation and use of all Aircell Wi-Fi products in the Hawker 800/850/900/1000. The approval includes the newly announced ATG 2000 and ST 4300, as well as the ATG 5000, ATG 4000, Aviator 200/300/350 and Gogo Vision with UCS 5000 media server.
“Cost of the Aircell ATG 2000 for these Hawkers starts at approximately $57,000, not including installation,” said Conrad Theisen, avionics sales manager for Elliott Aviation. Downtime is eight to 10 days.
More than 2,000 Gogo Biz on-board broadband systems have been installed in business aircraft, Aircell announced today. This milestone was reached 4.5 years after the Gogo Biz service was introduced, which Aircell said makes “it the most rapidly adopted broadband service in business aviation history.” Jet Aviation performed the first Gogo Biz installation in June 2009 for the launch customer, a corporate aircraft operator based in the Midwest U.S. Gogo Biz allows passengers and crews to have Internet access above 10,000 feet in the continental U.S.
Travel Management Company completed activation of the Aircell ATG 2000 onboard system on its charter fleet of 37 Hawker 400XPs, providing wireless high-speed Internet service from a passenger smartphone or tablet via Aircell’s Gogo Biz.
The Elkhart, Ind.-based operator claims to be “the largest charter operator and owner of Hawker 400XPs and 800/850XPs in the country.” The fleet of 30 Hawker 800/850XPs was previously equipped with a mix of Aircell’s ATG 4000 and ATG 5000 packages and Gogo Biz, also allowing a wireless connection via smartphone or tablet.
Beechcraft announced that it has certified and begun installations on a range of wireless in-flight connectivity equipment to fit low- and high-occupancy aircraft.
Aircell’s ATG 2000, which provides Gogo Biz in-flight Internet and Text & Talk voice services, is available with certified Wi-Fi as an upgrade through Hawker Beechcraft Services (HBS) for most Beechcraft and Hawker aircraft. According to the Wichita-based OEM, HBS is offering introductory incentives to operators who purchase an ATG 2000 system through the end of 2013.
Aircell’s new nationwide wireless content delivery network, Gogo Cloud, allows customers of Aircell’s Gogo Vision to automatically receive the latest updates whenever they visit a Gogo Cloud location. When an aircraft arrives at a Gogo Cloud location, Aircell’s UCS 5000 system automatically connects to the Gogo Cloud Wi-Fi signal and performs a complete content update. The transfer takes place in typically less than 60 seconds for a 30-minute TV episode, and about three minutes for a feature-length movie.
Elliott Aviation is pursuing STCs for Aircell’s new ATG 2000 broadband system in the Hawker 800/850/900, Phenom 300, King Air 350 and King Air B200/B200GT. It hopes to have the approval in hand by next year’s first quarter. The Aircell ATG 2000 is a cabin broadband wireless system aimed at midsize and light jets and turboprops. It allows passengers to connect to the Internet on their laptops, smartphones and tablets.
Aircraft cabin connectivity just keeps getting better and better, and now Aircell has expanded its Gogo Biz Internet connection to include voice capability.
Because Gogo Biz operates on Aircell’s air-to-ground technology, which taps into the ground cellphone network, the company claims “voice calls are among the clearest in aviation, on par with mobile phone calls on the ground.”
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