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Delta will beta test free Wi-Fi starting this month

By Julio Franco · 8 replies
May 10, 2019
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  1. According to Gogo, who provide internet service to Delta and other major airlines, only 12% of passengers across the airlines they serve currently pay for Wi-Fi. This is bound to increase substantially the minute the service is open to all. Low-cost airline JetBlue started offering free Wi-Fi to all passengers in 2017 and remain the only major U.S. airline to do so at no charge.

    A factor to account in that low usage is that historically inflight Wi-Fi has been spotty and slow, even when paid, but this has improved with better technology.

    Gogo's latest satellite-based system called 2Ku, replaced older cellular-based connectivity for improved reliability and bandwidth. Deployment of 2Ku started as early as 2015 but it's only recently that you're bound to find more aircrafts equipped with the antennas. The difference between cellular-based ATG (Air-To-Ground) systems and 2Ku should be night and day. Coming from 3.1 Mbit/s (for the entire aircraft) on first-gen ATG, to 9.8 Mbit/s in ATG-4 and up to 70 Mbit/s on 2Ku.

    "Customers are accustomed to having access to free Wi-Fi during nearly every other aspect of their journey, and Delta believes it should be free when flying, too," said Ekrem Dimbiloglu, Director of Onboard Product. "Testing will be key to getting this highly complex program right – this takes a lot more creativity, investment and planning to bring to life than a simple flip of a switch."

    Delta will run the two-week pilot in aircrafts equipped with 2Ku antennas only. The selected flights will change daily as part of the test, while passengers will be notified that their flight is part of the test run via email, the Delta mobile app, and prior to their flight.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited: May 10, 2019
  2. brucek

    brucek TS Maniac Posts: 167   +207

    This is amazing. You can barely get a free bag of peanuts anymore and now they're adding free wi-fi of their own volition?

    I can't explain it but I'm happy to hear it. I wonder if there is an advertising, data or some other non-obvious business model behind it?
    Clamyboy74 likes this.
  3. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 733   +564

    Put my device on public wi-fi? Hello hacking and viruses! No thanks. How gullible the average person is.
  4. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Evangelist Posts: 740   +1,070

  5. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 876   +372

    "Free" as in the ticket prices will rise 5% over the next 6-12 months "free"?
  6. Knot Schure

    Knot Schure TS Addict Posts: 267   +116

    This should help no end keeping the brats quiet.
  7. Mikejw

    Mikejw TS Rookie

    It's funny how that's a picture of a southwest airlines wing.
    ShagnWagn likes this.
  8. PEnnn

    PEnnn TS Enthusiast Posts: 88   +83

    Free? Yeah, right. Look at your ticket and all those fees......
    ShagnWagn likes this.
  9. A VPN would protect you from network sniffing, but wouldn't protect you from virus' or exploits on the local network you're connected to. The guy sitting next to you could still run an exploit against your laptop and you wouldn't be able to stop it.
    ShagnWagn likes this.

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