United upgrades Gogo wi-fi on transcontinental 757s

Washington DC
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Gogo will upgrade its connectivity offering on United Airlines' transcontinental Boeing 757 fleet to its next-generation ATG-4 air to ground technology, with installations of the new equipment on the 13 aircraft beginning in early 2013.

The connectivity provider says that the new ATG-4 upgrade will provide peak speeds of up to 3.1 Mbps to 9.8 Mbps per aircraft. The 757s are currently outfitted with Gogo's standard air to ground technology.

Gogo has said that the ATG-4 upgrade can offer speeds up to four times as fast as the standard air to ground technology it provides to airline customers.

To achieve the upgrade, the carrier will retrofit a directional antenna and dual modem to each aircraft. The new technology also includes a revision to the evolution-data optimised (EV-DO) standard for 3G digital wireless service, which improves performance.

United first started offering Gogo's inflight internet option on the 757s in 2009. These aircraft, called the premium service or P.S. fleet, operate from New York John F. Kennedy to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In 2011, United-Continental opted for Panasonic's Ku-band technology for more than 300 aircraft on its mainline fleet. At the time, the company stated that it offered faster speeds than air to ground technology available. Continental Airlines had made a previous agreement with Live TV for Ka-band Wi-Fi service that covers more than 200 domestic aircraft outfitted with DirecTV.