clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Walt Mossberg Holds Gogo's and United's Feet to the Fire (Full Video)

It shouldn't be so difficult to get Wi-Fi on an airplane traveling at hundreds of miles an hour 35,000 feet above the earth.

Asa Mathat

While everyone wants inflight Wi-Fi, delivering ubiquitous, fast connections to an entire plane moving at hundreds of miles per hour it isn’t always as easy as it seems.

That was the message from United’s Thomas O’Toole and Ash ElDifrawi, chief commercial officer of Gogo, who spoke with disgruntled passenger and Re/code co-Executive Editor Walt Mossberg.

“It’s going to take a little time to move to the next level of technology,” ElDifrawi said. “It’s not like putting another router in Starbucks, but it’s coming.”

For now, Gogo is using pricing to help balance out the fact that there is more demand than available bandwidth. Gogo is currently working on a service that will provide speeds of 70 Mbps in the next six months and 100 Mbps in 2016.

United, meanwhile, was the first to offer international Wi-Fi, but went with a rival to Gogo’s technology in its effort to cover both domestic and international flights. That did put the company behind, O’Toole acknowledged.

More recently, United has said it will work with Gogo on some flights.

Here’s the full — and lively — video discussion.

This article originally appeared on