June 25, 2013
In-Flight Wi-Fi Still Costly, but More Available
It remains to be seen, however, how viable in-flight Wi-Fi will be as a business -- though Gogo, which leads the field with systems on more than 80 percent of all Wi-Fi-enabled flights in North America, had an initial public offering on Friday.
So far, only a small number of passengers have been choosing to pay for Wi-Fi, which can cost $12 or more per session. Gogo, for example, said that in the first quarter of this year, 6.2 percent of passengers on planes with its Wi-Fi systems opted for its service, a slight improvement from the 5.6 percent who took it in the 2012 first quarter.
Gogo, which has its air-to-ground-based system in more than 1,900 airplanes flying domestically, plans to use proceeds of the stock offering partly to finance a planned international rollout using Ku-band satellite technology, which allows the service to work over oceans. That will enable the company to sell its services on overseas flights.
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