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September 04, 2012

Industry Canada Approves Gogo for In-flight Wi-Fi

By Tabitha Naylor, Contributing Writer

Gogo has been given the approval by Industry Canada to offer its in-flight Wi-Fi service on planes traveling to and from Canada and the U.S.

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Business and commercial planes flying this route will now have access to the wireless Internet Gogo provides.

Industry Canada has granted Gogo a subordinate license, allowing the company to build an air-to-ground frequency spectrum that operates on the same frequency as its network in the U.S.

Gogo, formerly called Aircell, provides in-flight broadband Internet service to passengers flying on commercial and business planes. This is possible through the company’s Air to Ground (ATG (News - Alert)) system, a 3G wireless technology that gets its connection through a series of cell towers built on the ground.

To date, Gogo owns more than a hundred cell towers that form a network over the continental U.S. and some parts of Alaska.

Teaming up with Ottawa firm Skysurf Canada, Gogo has plans to build and finish the cell tower network in Canada by the end of 2013. Skysurf Canada stands to earn $3.3 million for Gogo’s exclusive use of the air-to-ground license, plus an additional $200,000 monthly for leasing cell sites and signals.

With an existing partnership with Air Canada already in place, Gogo plans to boost it more by providing Wi-Fi connections on the airline’s Canada-U.S. routes, which was limited before due to regulatory restrictions. Gogo also plans to focus on the existing Canadian routes operated by Air Canada’s U.S. and Canadian airline partners such as Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.

"Whether it's on a commercial or business aircraft, passengers traveling in Canada can soon experience the same technology that has a proven track record of performance and reliability in the U.S.," said Michael Small, Gogo's chief executive.

Gogo currently provides its Wi-Fi access to airline passengers across the United States for a fee ranging from $1.95 to $20 US dollars.


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Edited by Braden Becker