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United is First U.S. Airline to Offer Overseas Wi-Fi Via Satellite

by Aaron Baker | January 18, 2013January 18, 2013 6:00 am PST

If you do as much work travel as much as we do, Wi-Fi is a necessity in flight. While one can certainly argue that the GoGo in-flight Internet speeds aren’t always the fastest, connectivity is a must in today’s world. The challenge has always been traveling overseas, with hours of down time in which emails pile up and work tasks go unattended.

United announced this week that one of its Boeing 747-400 aircraft has been outfitted with Ku-band satellite technology, enabling Wi-Fi around the globe. Designed by Panasonic, the service will offer two tiers for your browsing pleasure. Standard pricing will range from $4-15 depending on the length of your flight, and Accelerated speeds will cost between $6 and $20. United plans to bring the Wi-Fi service to its Airbus A320’s, along with its Boeing 737, 757, 767, 777 and 787 planes. The airline also expects to have the service implemented in 300 planes by the end of 2013.

United is spearheading a program I hope to see implemented on all U.S. airlines at some point in the near future. WIth regular trips to London, Barcelona and Berlin, it’s always a challenge in an always-connected job to be down for more than a few hours. Who knows, perhaps a year from now, you’ll see flight liveblogs on TechnoBuffalo – complete with pictures of those sitting beside us!

Aaron Baker

Aaron Baker is the Senior Executive Editor of Mobile at TechnoBuffalo. A ten-year veteran in the wireless industry, he has worked for the four...