AT&T today announced plans to build an LTE network to provide in-flight connectivity for “airlines and passengers in commercial, business and general aviation.” The service will use spectrum the carrier already owns and could be commercially available by late 2015.
AT&T will build an “air-to-ground network” to provide the connectivity, which it said will be faster and more reliable than current in-flight Wi-Fi offerings. AT&T also pointed to the potential for improved communications between the plane and the ground through transmission of real-time aircraft data.
AT&T will partner with Honeywell and will build on existing relationships within the aviation industry for the project. The carrier said it will announce pricing and availability closer to launch.
But the news has already caused a big market shift. Gogo, an in-flight Wi-Fi provider, saw its stock plummet more than 20 percent in after-hours trading.