American Airlines has sued Gogo, their current in-flight wireless service provider.
The suit comes because Gogo is no longer the fastest service with the best price, a violation of the contract between the provider and American Airlines. Here’s how the transportation company words that in their suit:
After carefully evaluating the new technology and services in the marketplace, American has decided to exercise its rights under the Agreement and recently notified Gogo that ViaSat offers an in-flight connectivity system that materially improves on Gogo’s air-to-ground system…
Gogo’s service, according to the suit, simply doesn’t meet the demands of customers. They want something with speeds similar to what they get at home, and Gogo provides a lesser service at a higher cost.
American Airlines dives a bit into why ViaSat might have better tech.
In contrast with Gogo’s legacy air-to-ground system that uses cell towers, many of these new competitors offer faster and cheaper in-flight connectivity services using satellite-based technology. Whereas Gogo’s system provides 3 Mbps (or at most, 10 Mbps) of bandwidth shared among all users on a flight, and blocks most video content, these new satellite-based services offer 12 Mbps per device—more than enough for passengers to stream music, movies, and television. Also, with antennas facing up to satellites, instead of down to cell towers, these competitors can offer gate-to-gate WiFi access for customers, even over oceans.
ViaSat is the current wireless provider running on United Airlines, JetBlue and Virgin America craft. It’s also faster, and ViaSat has made AA a more competitive offer.
As such, Gogo has the right to submit a competing offer. They are doing that now.