Tag Archives | Gogo

What We Now Know About Gogo

Gogo, the big name in in-flight Wi-Fi, is getting ready to go public. There are some fascinating facts in its paperwork, as reporred by SplatF’s Dan Frommer. (At least airplane Wi-Fi addicts like me will find them fascinating.)
One of them is potentially scary: Gogo says that as it gets more popular, maintaining the quality of the service may be challenging. (Ony 4 percent of the people on Gogo-equipped flights now use the service on average, and I usually find the speed and reliability to worth the dough.)

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Does Free Wi-Fi=Crummy Wi-Fi?

I’m grateful for the Google Chrome promotion that involves free Wi-Fi service on several airlines this holiday season. But when I flew between San Francisco and Boston last week, I noticed that the free Wi-Fi on Virgin America wasn’t as good as for-pay Wi-Fi I’m accustomed to–I kept getting disconnected. Gizmodo’s Jason Chen theorizes that the Gogo in-flight Internet service isn’t prepared to deal with the onslaught of freebie lovers.

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Hello From My iPad on a Plane

Pay no attention to this post– okay, a little attention if you want, but it doesn’t merit much. I’m on board a Virgin America flight to New York (where I’ll cover RIM’s BlackBerry event tomorrow). And since I have Internet access via Gogo but no laptop–it ran out of juice–I’m trying blogging on my iPad.

Verdict: Doable, but slow and not terribly pleasant. Biggest problem: I’m in a middle seat…


Virgin America Aircell Gogo In-Flight WiFi

While I’m a little late to this particular mile high club, I finally experienced the joy of in-flight WiFi last Friday. Unlike Boeing’s now defunct Connexion satellite solution, it appears that most domestic airlines are utilizing Aircell’s Gogo service – essentially 3G EVDO connectivity in the sky. On my cross country Virgin America flight, the prices for Internet access were more than reasonable: $13 for a laptop or $8 for a handheld. Although, as we discovered, we didn’t need to pay for each device, periodically swapping the connection between Macbook, iPhone, and Blackberry.

Not only were Gogo’s download speeds (and latency) perfectly suitable for typical web browsing, I also had no probs with SD YouTube video (above). In fact, after seeing how quickly the buffer filled, I gave HD a shot. Giving it a minute to build a buffer worked out fine as well. (In fact, I’m more stoked than ever about Call of Duty, Modern Warfare 2. Come November 10th, you can safely expect a period of blog silence.)

Officially, in-flight VoIP is restricted. Which is probably a good thing given how loudly most folks talk into their cell phones. However, when Melissa connected her 8900 Curve to check for email, T-Mobile’s UMA service automatically kicked in. I wouldn’t say it was very usable, with frequent audio drop outs, but the fact that she could check voicemail from 36,000 feet was inspiring.

(This post republished from Zatz Not Funny.)

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Look, Up in the Sky! It’s Wi-Fi!

Gogo LogoAt this very moment, I”m using inflight Wi-Fi for the third time in my life–and for the first time, it’s putting me in a good mood. The first time I did so was on a demo flight for the now-defunct Boeing Connexion service, and it essentially failed to work; the second time was on one of the last Connexion-equipped flights, and the fact that I knew it was going away put me in a melancholy mood. Even though Connexion, even when it worked, was kinda sluggish and kinda pricey.

This morning, however, I’m on a Virgin America flight with Gogo service. It’s six bucks for my flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and is quite speedy–YouTube is playing back more smoothly than it sometimes does via my home network. Virgin is the first carrier with an all-Wi-Fl fleet; it’s instantly become my default carrier on any route it travels. 

I should probably segue here into a sober rumination on the virtues of being disconnected and the downside of living in a world in which spending even 59 minutes (our flight time) without Internet access is a hardship. I’ll probably write one eventually, but for now, I’m happy. And it’s going to feel weird when I hear the plane’s wheels touch ground at  ourdestination and I have no need to seize my phone, fire up e-mail, and try to catch up…