Friday, November 8, 2013

Gogo in-flight WiFi service can now let passengers send texts and make calls in the air

I can foresee the increase sale in Bose noise canceling headphones and earbuds.  Having your arm rest stolen by your seat buddy is now the least of your worries.

Gogo's inflight Wi-Fi is starting to roll out a major new feature: the ability to send and receive text messages and phone calls while up in the air. Call and texts over Gogo's new Talk & Text service have to be made
through its iOS or upcoming Android app, but Gogo says that they'll all be made using the phone's own number, so nothing will change for people who contact you. The feature isn't available on any consumer flights just yet — and it's only launching with a few business partners — but Gogo says that it's in talks to get it up and running on commercial airlines.


Expanding the service onto commercial flights should be easy, as Gogo doesn't have to install any new equipment. But while Gogo says that the service could be bundled in with its traditional Wi-Fi offering, it sounds as though pricing will be left up to the airline.

Interestingly, Gogo's chief marketing officer, Ash ElDifrawi, says that the company expects most people to use the service for text messaging. "While we see this as more of a text messaging product for commercial airlines in the United States, the phone functionality is something that some international air carriers and our business aviation customers are asking for," ElDifrawi says in a statement. Running texts and calls through an app certainly isn't a perfect solution, but it'd still be a big perk if bundled in with Gogo's existing inflight Wi-Fi.


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