Travel | September 4, 2020 12:29 pm

GoGo Just Sold Its Commercial Wifi Business, Which Might Be Good for Users

Partnering with a bankrupt satellite company may lead to better in-flight browsing

Gogo
Inflight wifi could eventually improve due to Gogo's sale
FG Trade / Getty Images

Hopefully, you aren’t flying — if not just for your own health, but also your mental sanity, which is tested every time you use in-flight wifi.

Oddly, Gogo’s recent sale of its wifi division to a bankrupt satellite operator might be good news for your in-flight connection.

On Tuesday the ubiquitous airline internet provider announced that Intelstat has purchased its commercial wifi business for $400 million. While Intelstat might be the world’s second-largest satellite operator, it’s also $15 billion in debt, according to The Verge. And given that the airline industry’s been hit hard by coronavirus, layoffs and reduced flight schedules, this seems to be a bad deal all around.

But Gogo, which has lost a lot of money and gone through its own layoffs recently (probably due to losing a whopping 91% of its per-day use this past spring), has been working on improving its service through satellite-based technology and starting up its own 5G network.

Technology site The Hustle sees the sale as a potential positive for passengers. As reporter Michael Waters suggests: “GoGo’s buyer, Intelsat, already has a ton of its own satellites. In theory, it can use those to beat the speeds of [competitor] Viasat. And because GoGo is already so huge, that could mean a new renaissance of free in-flight WiFi.”

For those of us who used terrible in-flight wifi connections as an excuse (“Sorry, can’t finish that article … wifi up here is sketchy”), I guess we’ll have another reason to dread flying.

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