Aircell, a leading provider of in-flight connectivity equipment and services to the business aviation market, announces that its Gogo Biz service will expand to include voice capabilities, beginning October 1st. Gogo Biz was originally launched in 2009 as an Internet-only service in the business aviation market.
Because Gogo Biz operates on Aircell’s air-to-ground technology, its voice calls are among the clearest in aviation – on par with mobile phone calls on the ground. As a “two-in-one” service, Gogo Biz offers Internet and voice capabilities from a single system, which can eliminate the need for separate systems, dramatically reducing equipment requirements and installation costs.
Monthly voice plans for Gogo Biz start at $134.95/month, which includes 60 voice minutes.
In flight, passengers and flight crews can use the new Gogo Biz voice capabilities on their own smartphones and/or with Aircell’s new cabin handsets, as detailed below:
1. Gogo Text & Talk. Your Own Smartphone, Your Own Number
Gogo Text & Talk is an exclusive new service that allows passengers to use their own smartphones for calling and texting in flight – with their own mobile number.
It’s easy to use because it mimics the native features and operation of the passenger’s smartphone. Passengers can use their own contact lists and hands-free devices. Features like Caller ID and call histories are supported. Calling someone in flight is as simple as dialing their number.
Gogo Text & Talk is a game-changing service because it operates over Wi-Fi technology (not cellular) and uses the passenger’s own mobile number (not an auto-attendant, two-step dialing or call-forwarding protocol). Because the service is 100% software-based, it can be added to any standard Gogo Biz equipment package without additional hardware, weight or installation downtime. This makes Gogo Text & Talk practical for aircraft as small as light jets and turboprops – while being hundreds of thousands of dollars less expensive than traditional, picocell-based solutions, which offer similar capabilities.
Available with any Gogo Biz system, Gogo Text & Talk is obtained by purchasing a software key for the aircraft’s onboard equipment and installing a free app on passengers’ smartphones. The service will be available for iPhone 4, 4S and 5 beginning October 1st. Support for select Android devices will begin on November 1st.
2. The Gogo OnePhone. Aircell’s Next-Generation Cabin Handset
The new Gogo OnePhone offers superior voice quality and the industry’s most advanced noise reduction technology. Its big, bright, touchscreen display and Android-based operating system mean it’s very easy to use. High-end industrial design and carefully-chosen finishes and materials make it a perfect complement to any business aircraft interior. Wired and wireless options are available.
Shipments of the Gogo OnePhone will begin October 15th.
John Wade, Aircell’s Executive Vice President and General Manager, commented, “Although in-flight Internet has captured the world’s interest in recent years, customers never stopped asking for the ability to use their own smartphone – with their own number – to call and text while they fly. We firmly believe in the future of in-flight voice service and the role it plays in our ‘always on’ lifestyles. With today’s introduction of voice capabilities for Gogo Biz, a new cabin handset and the ability to use personal smartphones, customers have more options than ever.”