In-flight internet provider, Gogo, has unveiled a new app that will allow passengers to send and receive SMS text messages while flying.
The company’s new ‘Text & Talk’ technology, which was unveiled on Saturday, allows passengers to download an app from the Apple App Store or Google Play. This will then enable them to send and receive text messages in real time from 30,000 feet. The technology will also potentially allow voice calls.
“Gogo Text & Talk is just one more way Gogo is keeping airline passengers connected to their lives on the ground,” said Ash El Difrawi, the company’s chief marketing officer. “While we see this as more of a text messaging product for commercial airlines… the phone functionality is something that some international air carriers and our business aviation customers are asking for.”
The app serves as an extension of a normal cellular network, enabling smartphone users to access Gogo’s in-flight Wi-Fi system as if they were roaming on a land-based network. They can then continue to access their messaging and phone services anywhere onboard a Gogo Wi-Fi-equipped aircraft.
“The great part about this technology is that it doesn’t require us to install anything new to an aircraft and we can bundle it with or without connectivity,” added El Difrawi. “We have already launched the service with some of our business aviation customers and we are talking with our commercial airline partners about launching the service for their passengers.”
Gogo currently offers Wi-Fi and connectivity services on a range of international airlines, including American Airlines, Air Canada, Delta Air Lines, Japan Airlines and United Airlines.