Alaska Airlines will deploy Aircell’s Gogo in-flight Internet service, opting against the Row44 service it had been testing since last year. Alaska Airlines and Aircell will begin the certification process for the Aircell system on the airline’s fleet, beginning with the 737-800s designated for longer flights, according to an announcement by the airline Wednesday.
“With more than 730 systems already flying, Aircell has a proven track record of deploying affordable in-flight Wi-Fi services to airline customers,” said Steve Jarvis, Alaska’s vice president of marketing, sales and customer experience. “Their reliable, lower-cost equipment can be installed quickly, allowing Alaska Airlines to introduce Gogo service to our customers as soon as possible.”
The Aircell system uses a network of ground cell towers for its service in the lower 48 states. Aircell said as a result of this agreement it will expand its cellular network to include Alaska. However, because the Aircell service uses ground-based cell towers, it’s not clear how the service will perform over water routes. (Row44 uses a satellite-based system.) Alaska Airlines is the 10th airline to sign onto Aircell’s system, joining Air Canada, AirTran Airways, American Airlines, Continental, Delta Air Lines (and Northwest), United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America.
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