AT&T partners with Honeywell to provide US in-flight connectivity

29 April 2014 | Sophie Donoghue


AT&T has partnered with conglomerate Honeywell International to offer 4G wireless internet on US commercial flights by late next year.

The carrier expects to use its 4G network to provide internet services for in-flight Wifi internet connections and cockpit communications. The deal will see Honeywell exclusively supply domestic air-to-ground communication systems and hardware to AT&T.

AT&T has announced that the internet service will use ground-based antennas aimed skyward towards receivers on planes and the company plans to use some of the wireless communications service spectrum it acquired in 2012 to transmit the LTE signal to the aircraft.

According to a statement released by Honeywell, the AT&T service would have greater speed and bandwidth than existing in-flight services

“Honeywell has established itself not only as a technology development leader, but as the company that fully understands consumers’ desires to stay connected whether at home, in the office or car, and in-flight through the Connected Aircraft,” said Tim Mahoney, president and CEO of Honeywell.

The two companies have signed a letter of intent and expect to sign a formal agreement soon.

The move is in direct competition to Gogo, a company which offers a similar service to approximately 80% of wired commercial aircraft in the US.

The announcement is part of AT&T’s strategy to provide connectivity to a wide range of applications, including cars and automation in homes.

In February, Jasper Wireless announced a partnership with AT&T which will see the M2M service provider power AT&T’s Drive platform, an automotive platform designed to develop LTE-connected car services.