Following American Airlines Lawsuit, GoGo To Upgrade In-Flight WiFi

Just days after American Airlines dropped its lawsuit accusing GoGo of providing unacceptably slow service, the in-flight WiFi provider said it would upgrade its systems to offer faster connections for customers flying with its contracted airlines.

GoGo announced plans to upgrade the satellite modem used with its 2Ku and Ku satellite technologies to increase service to Internet users on planes.

The company believes that the new modem, which is expected to be available in commercial planes sometime in 2017, will significantly increase Internet speeds up to 400 Mbps, which would support a range of streaming options.

The company likened the revamp to something customers might do themselves in their home or office.

“You can make improvements to the amount of bandwidth delivered, but if the modem can’t support that bandwidth, you can create a choke point in the network,” Anand Chari, Gogo’s chief technology officer, said in a statement. “Gogo’s next generation modem is being built with a lot of room to spare so it will be ready to handle data delivered from” future technologies.

GoGo didn’t specifically address American’s lawsuit, but VentureBeat suggests announcing its revamped modem gives the company a chance to continue working with the airline.

American’s lawsuit centered on a provision in its contract with GoGo that gave the airline the ability to leave the deal if “if a competitor offers connectivity services that materially improve on the GoGo early generation air to ground system that American has chosen to use on certain fleets.”

The airline is obligated to notify GoGo and give the company a chance to submit a competing proposal. If that proposal doesn’t meet American’s standards, the airline has the option to terminate the contract, which would affect around 200 aircraft, mostly Boeing 737s.

The two companies disagreed on what it meant for American to notify GoGo of and let them potentially bid against new providers.

American told GoGo in early February that a competing service offered by ViaSat, and GoGo now says it intends to come back with proposal to upgrade this fleet with faster service by March 20, VentureBeat reports.

[via VentureBeat]