Delta Air Lines has announced plans to upgrade its in-flight wi-fi service from Gogo’s air-to-ground (ATG) technology to Gogo satellite-based technology. The upgrades will begin in 2016 and will extend wi-fi access beyond the shores of North America for customers traveling between the USA and Latin America or the Caribbean.
Delta has also announced that it will support Gogo’s efforts to develop the industry’s newest technology with Gogo’s next-generation ATG service for its short-haul aircraft, which will feature faster connections at broadband speeds.
“Global connectivity equals global productivity and business travelers want greater bandwidth, faster speeds and broader network coverage,” said Tim Mapes, Delta’s SVP of marketing.
Satellite-based 2Ku upgrades
More than 250 of Delta’s aircraft on long-haul domestic, Latin American and Caribbean routes will have access to wi-fi when they fly over water or outside existing ATG service areas with the upgrades to 2Ku. The satellite-based system will be installed on: B757-300s, B757-200s, B737-900ERs, B737-800s and A319s. The 2Ku service will also be offered on Delta’s Airbus A321 aircraft when they enter Delta’s fleet beginning in 2016.
ATG technology improvements
Short-haul domestic aircraft in Delta’s fleet with ATG systems will be upgraded with Gogo’s next generation ATG technology as it becomes available. Delta’s B717-200, MD-88 and MD-90 aircraft are slated to get the system and will also offer “significantly upgraded speeds”.
Delta has completed installation of Ku-band satellite wi-fi on more than one-third of its international fleet and will be 85% complete by the end of 2015. In mid-2016, its entire international fleet, including all of its B777, 767, 747, A330 and transoceanic B757 aircraft operating on long-haul routes will offer wi-fi. The addition of in-flight Internet on nearly 150 aircraft will expand the number of Delta’s aircraft equipped with wi-fi to approximately 1,000 which, Delta says, means it will offer customers the most global wi-fi access of any carrier. The 2Ku service will be offered on A330-900Neo and A350-900 aircraft when they enter the Delta fleet.
Customers can access free and paid streaming entertainment options through Delta Studio on any of Delta’s wi-fi-equipped domestic flights using their own portable electronic devices. With expanded connectivity options, Delta Studio will be available on Caribbean and Latin American routes operated by domestic aircraft. Delta Studio was introduced in 2014 and features a new customer portal with improved navigation for accessing entertainment options. Customers in First Class and Economy Comfort receive complimentary access to premium content, while customers in economy have access to a wide selection of complimentary entertainment.