Free in-flight Wi-Fi to be tested by Delta for 55 Domestic flights
By Akshay Kedari  Date: 2019-05-11

Free in-flight Wi-Fi to be tested by Delta for 55 Domestic flights

Delta, a major American airline, has made it to the headline as it announced that it will be testing offering free Wi-Fi on 55 domestic flights, this month. As per sources, the tests will last for two weeks, and will allow users full-fledged access to internet except free video streaming.

According to sources close to the matter, the tests will officially be the first step towards realizing its vision of offering in-flight Wi-Fi free of cost, says Delta. There will be several test phases until any actual rollout happens, it further adds. Reportedly, Delta plans to run the test on short, medium and long-haul routes but has not named any specific routes. The customers on the test flights will be notified via email or the company’s mobile app ahead of time.

Currently, the only US airline that offers free Wi-Fi is JetBlue.

According to Delta, offering free Wi-Fi in the airlines can lead to complex problems, likely because there could be a dramatic increase in the number of people who use it, which could strain the plane’s connection.

As per credible sources, Gogo, connectivity provider on Delta flights, reported in a recent SEC filing that in 2018, only 12 percent of passengers used in-flight Wi-Fi. An increase in number of users could obstruct a plane’s bandwidth, resulting in slower speeds. Gogo further added in the filing that it is already facing capacity limitations in the U.S., and it expects demand to increase, especially if airlines plan to put a halt on charging for in-flight Wi-Fi.

According to the filings, Delta’s potential to offer free in-flight Wi-Fi might considerably depend on Gogo’s capacity to build out its network. Delta has the right to end its contract with Gogo, if the latter fails to provide required network and to favor one of the competitor Wi-Fi service providers like ViaSat, a satellite company.

Experts familiar with the knowledge of the matter have reported that Gogo registers substantial monetary gains by selling bandwidths to airlines and is hugely motivated to handle an increase in number of users. Approximately, 23 percent of Gogo’s revenue in 2018 was accounted for by Delta flights and Gogo expects accretive revenue for airlines as they require more bandwidth to support free in-flight Wi-Fi.

Source credits: https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/9/18563271/delta-free-in-flight-wi-fi-test-may-2019

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Akshay Kedari    

Akshay Kedari

A qualified computer engineering graduate, Akshay Kedari takes pride in having his way with words. Following his passion for content creation, he writes insightful pieces on aeresearch.net and a few other portals. Also endorsed with a short-term experience in web deve...

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