In-flight 4G LTE connectivity coming next year, says US carrier AT&T

Saqib Shah
April 29, 2014

Despite the emergence of in-flight Wi-Fi and social networking on certain flights in the US, many passengers can still escape the ubiquity of the Internet when taking to the skies.

But that may be about to change if US carrier AT&T has anything to do with it.

The network has just announced that it plans to “mobilize the sky” (their words, not ours), by introducing 4G LTE connectivity as soon as the end of 2015.

According to AT&T, in-flight 4G service has many advantages. Not only will it allow users to catch up on their favourite TV shows whilst cruising at 30,000 feet above ground level, it will also result in improved cockpit and ground communications for pilots and crew members.

AT&T plans to introduce the service by building an air-to-ground network in the US using existing spectrum.

This, it claims, should allow for consistently high speeds that outperform its Wi-Fi counterparts, at least in theory, with essentially the same network technology that keeps devices connected on the ground with AT&T’s existing nationwide 4G LTE spread.

Don’t expect it to be included in your regular plan, however, as AT&T says it intends to provide information regarding pricing and availability closer to launch.

Common sense dictates that this may be something that would at least incur some kind of add-on to existing subscriptions.


About the Author

Saqib Shah

Tech/gaming journalist for What Mobile magazine and website. Interests include film, digital media and foreign affairs.

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