Delta, Gogo up the ante for in-flight entertainment


The battle for in-flight entertainment supremacy wages on. The latest move in the space comes from Delta and Gogo, announcing major upgrades to the carrier’s systems over the next 15 months. The latest announcement will see the airline aggressively upgrade their in-flight internet connections to the new ATG4 system from Gogo, increasing bandwidth available for passengers. Delta will also add the Gogo Vision product to their flights, offering streaming media content to passengers. The domestic fleet is expected to be fully fitted by the end of 2013 and the international fleet by 2015.

Neither the ATG4 nor the Gogo Vision upgrades come as much of a surprise. Both the airlines and Gogo recognize that ATG4 is necessary to support more concurrent users on their systems and the higher bandwidth demands those users are placing on the system. It still won’t be sufficient to have many users streaming media while in-flight but it should be more capable of supporting media-rich sites. And once you’ve got the rest of the Gogo infrastructure on the plane adding the Gogo Vision system doesn’t seem like too great a challenge or investment. Whether anyone is buying it or not, particularly since Delta offers free seat-back entertainment on most flights, is not so clear. Definitely an interesting bit to watch.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

7 Comments

  1. On a recent trip I watched a guy buy onto Gogo on his tablet and the only thing he did was facebook. I completely love the ability to work on a plane but this seemed like an excessive waste of money.

  2. I find that getting internet access even for ‘just’ going on Facebook helps me pass the time even if that seems like a waste to others. If going on facebook is something I was going to end up doing later, then I’m still getting time-value same as doing work, in my opinion.

  3. @Nathan, I understand your point.

    Ironic that I work for a company heavily into marketing on social media while I find very little value there, other than raw traffic.

    1. If someone wants to pay $10+ to have FaceBook for a few hours I, too, think that’s a poor investment but who am I to tell someone how to spend their money. Given the recent reports that gogo is no longer selling “full flight” access once in-flight, essentially making access during a transcon cost $30-60, it is hard to know what people will actually spend money on or not. But they obviously think they’ve got the customers who will pay.

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