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Delta's in-flight WiFi is about to get a whole lot faster

John Colucci, @johncolucci
February 25, 2015
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If you've flown Delta recently (or most domestic airlines) and tried to use the onboard Gogo WiFi, you know that it's often a crapshoot. A combination of where you're flying over and the number of passengers attempting to use it leads to either a decent connection (yay!), one that's slow as a snail (ugh), or none at all ($#!%). Look, we need to remember that sending tweets at 35,000 feet is basically magic. But being able to stream even a low-res YouTube clip would really make flying a happier experience.

The airline will upgrade over 250 of its workhorse aircraft (think 737s and 757s) with Gogo's satellite-based 2Ku technology (which was approved last month by the FCC) starting early next year. 2Ku replaces older air-to-ground connectivity (or "ATG"), where antennae on the bottom of the aircraft try to connect to cell towers on the ground, barely eeking out a few measly Mbps down. 2Ku, on the other hand, sits on the top of the aircraft and connects satellites orbiting the Earth that deliver a top speed of 70 Mbps down. In the meantime, Delta has already started rolling out 30 Mbps down Ku-based systems that should cover 85 percent of the airline's international fleet by year's end.

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