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What You Ought to Know About Inflight Wi-Fi

By Alex Braelow

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There’s a maxim from the old guard of business travelers that goes something like “time in the air is time you’ll never get back.” Because not too long ago reclining your seat, having yourself some peanuts, and getting as much sleep as possible was the ideal flight.

Even with the advent of laptops and early smartphones travelers could maybe draft a couple emails, put together a few slides, or review some spreadsheets. And that’s the dirty little secret of the mobile technology world. Tablets, iPhones, and laptops may be perfectly suited to your tray-table office, but unless you have some way to connect your device to the internet, there’s not a whole lot you can do that’s productive.

The game didn’t really change until the mid-aughts, when airlines began putting Wi-Fi on their planes. Suddenly all that great mobile technology was capable of fulfilling the promise of it’s design: that you can stay connected and productive whether you’re at home, in the office, or 39,000 feet above Kalamazoo.

This is all fine and dandy, but truth is, inflight Wi-Fi remains a nascent technology. It is not yet ubiquitous. There is no industry standard. Airlines have adopted vastly different models, and the technology itself is inconsistent—sometimes wildly so—within and between providers.

In other words… it’s complicated.

Fortunately, iPass provides the most ubiquitous inflight Wi-Fi offering on the market. We’ve partnered with, among others: Gogo, Panasonic, Viasat, Deutsche Telekom, Inmarsat, and United Airlines. This means iPass SmartConnect™ will get users online in nearly 60% of all Wi-Fi enabled planes the world over. Not bad, eh?

If you would like to know more about the landscape of inflight Wi-Fi, you’re in luck. Our latest paper, “The Inflight Wi-Fi Challenge“, will guide you through the labyrinth of getting connected inflight. We cover everything you need to know about inflight Wi-Fi so that you are better equipped to take full advantage of your time in the air.