Industry Canada yesterday afternoon invited companies to apply for an air-to-ground (ATG) license, in a move that brings the country’s airlines closer to being able to offer ATG-based connectivity on domestic flights.
Check out the ATG auction rules from Industry Canada at the following link:
Notes the regulator: “An Industry Canada auction does not constitute an endorsement by the department of any particular service, technology or product, nor does a spectrum licence constitute a guarantee of business success.”
Canadian firm Bell Mobility has long been considered a strong contender for the license. Whoever is the winner, however, Aircell intends to partner with that firm.
“Aircell can’t participate in the auction since it has to be won by a Canadian organization. We would partner with the winner,” says an Aircell spokesman.
Aircell plans to offer its Gogo Internet service on Air Canada’s domestic fleet. However, until an ATG license is awarded, a partnership brokered with the licensee and an infrastructure built to support the service, Aircell is consigned to offering Gogo on Air Canada’s US-bound flights – once they start flying over US towers.
“We are obviously excited about this news [that Industry Canada has invited applications for an ATG license] and are looking forward to working with the new licensee to bring Gogo in-flight Internet to Canadian airline passengers,” says Aircell.