Blog Post

AT&T grounds its plans to build an in-flight Wi-Fi network

AT&T reached for the clouds when it announced plans to launch an in-flight Wi-Fi service six months ago, but it now looks as if Ma Bell’s internet plans will remain on terra firma for the time being. On Monday, the carrier told Bloomberg and other financial media it is abandoning its in-flight plans to focus on its acquisition plans.

AT&T planned to use frequencies from the 2.3 GHz Wireless Communications Service (WCS) band to create an LTE air-to-ground network. The country’s biggest in-flight internet provider [company]Gogo[/company] uses a similar set-up in the U.S., pointing a CDMA network toward the sky to connect planes, which then redistribute that bandwidth to passengers through Wi-Fi.

An AT&T spokesman, however, told Bloomberg that the carrier has decided to put its capital toward “international and video” investment, presumably referring to its planned acquisitions of DirecTV and Mexican mobile carrier Iusacell.