Busy jetsetters who can’t bear to be parted from their network while in the air might want to keep an eye on Aircell’s Gogo Biz service. Beginning October 1, the service will expand to include voice capabilities, including in-flight calling and texting on personal smartphones.
Because Gogo Biz operates on Aircell's air-to-ground technology, which the company says offers sound quality on par with mobile phones 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.
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.
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 operates over Wi-Fi (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 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 1 Support for select Android devices will begin on November 1 . More information is available at www.aircell.com/gogotexttalk.
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 15 th. More information is available at www.aircell.com/gogoonephone.