Skip to main content

Airplane WiFi Is About To Get Much Better

By March 28, 2016August 26th, 2021Blog, Technology News

mobile phone in aeroplane - olmecOne of the worst things about taking business trips is the airplane WiFi. What can we expect while travelling by air when it’s difficult to get stable WIFI network even on the ground at crowded places. It’s a lesson in patience. More often than not, owing to the slow speeds and anemic bandwidth available, you’re better off not even trying to get anything productive done in-flight.

One company, Gogo, has been trying to change that. Their first in-flight WiFi network service was a step in the right direction, but only offered a total of 3Mbps in total available bandwidth, which of course, meant that for each individual user, the rate was significantly less than that, and the system was prone to being overwhelmed by all the demands business travelers were regularly placing on it.

That will soon be changing.

Responding to the ever-increasing and largely ignored needs of today’s business travelers, Gogo is in the process of testing the 2.0 version of their service, which promises to link directly to a satellite in geosynchronous orbit, replacing the company’s current air-to-ground based system. But even on the ground, new technologies have taken over to encounter wifi problems at crowded places.

The new system also promises stable cybersecurity framework with it’s new technology and an impressive increase in available bandwidth, taking it from the current 3Mbps to 75Mbps, but of course, the individual user will not have access to all of that. The plan is to limit individual users to speeds of 25Mbps down, and 0.5Mbps up. The hope is that this move will make it easier to get reliable connectivity speeds with stable WIFI network security to make it possible to do meaningful work in-flight, while rendering it unlikely to impossible to engage in internet phone calls and/or in-flight video conferencing, which would all but cripple even the new system.

There is no firm timetable yet for the roll out of the new system, dubbed “2Ku,” but there is broad agreement that this is a major step in the right direction, and should see a major improvement, in what has been to this point, one of the more annoying aspects of business air travel.

Chris Forte

Chris Forte, President and CEO of Olmec Systems, has been in the MSP workspace for the past 25 years. Chris earned his Master’s Degree from West Virginia University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He was a past member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a current member of the New Jersey Power Partners and Executive Association of New Jersey, where he has previously served on its board of directors. In his spare time, Chris enjoys traveling with his family. He also admits to being a struggling golfer and avid watcher of college football and basketball. He currently lives in Boonton Township, NJ with his wife, two daughters, son, and black lab Luna.