Is Wi-Fi in an airplane more important than leg room, an on-time departure or friendly service? Depends on who you ask, but it's clear that Virgin America places a high value on keeping their patrons connected while cruising the friendly skies. The airline has just announced that they're first to launch Gogo's ATG-4 technology. Gogo
's ATG-4 service will significantly enhance the ATG network and improve aircraft WiFi capacity to the plane by approximately four times the current performance through the addition of directional antenna, dual-modem and EV-DO Rev. B technologies.
That's huge news for people who have struggled with Gogo's relatively slow service (it's not ISDN slow, but it's not exactly high-speed DSL). Virgin America was the first carrier to offer fleetwide WiFi as of May 2009 via Aircell's Gogo service, so it makes sense that the partnership would create another "first." Gogo's ATG-4 service on Virgin America is scheduled for delivery on aircraft beginning in the first half of 2012. The new platform is backwards compatible and allows for upgrades to existing ATG systems through low cost retrofits.
We're hoping that ATG-4 spreads over to the other airlines shortly, and for the airlines still on the outside gazing in, well -- we'll take anything at all in their jets!