Testing New Gogo Text & Talk Service at SXSW

gogo flying lab
By Marsha Collier

Duty Calls. When an email arrives inviting you to join the likes of Bell, Edison and Marconi, you definitely need to read it. I was lucky enough to be one of the first to use Gogo’s new Text &Talk service on Gogo One, the company’s “flying test lab.”  Not only would I have that honor, but I was to be part of the first in-air BBQ food truck with incredible Texas barbecue from Keith’s BBQ of Austin.

The Gogo twin jet is a Canadair Challenger 600 flying test lab, and features their latest Air To Ground system (ATG-4), along with our business aviation system, Iridium phone service, Inmarsat Swift Broadband satellite service and the Gogo Vision entertainment system. I had to poke around and see where the magic happens. Across form the lav was a closet, filled with the latest in technology.
We were given the tail number of the plane so we could log on to to track our progress as we flew at 600 miles per hour, 30,000 feet above all the revelers at #SXSW in Austin.  Alternatively, I could log on to the Glympse app, which would have allowed me to send real-time location information and estimated time of arrival with anyone while up in the sky. After sending a Glympse of your location to your earth-bound friends, you can shut down your mobile device and your friend or family member will remain updated with your location through the duration of the flight.

I shared pictures and tweeted, when Brad Jaehn, Gogo’s Vice President Product gave me a quick demonstration that I uploaded from the flight to Instagram. (OK, a hand held microphone would have definitely been a plus). The Gogo connection to ground-based cell towers (via several antennas on the underside of the plane) made this a flawless, immediate upload.

Gogo’s network services passengers with Wi-Fi enabled devices to get online on all domestic AirTran Airways and Virgin America flights and on select Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways flights – as well as on thousands of business aircraft – bringing the total to more than 6,500 Gogo equipped aircraft to date.
We live in amazing times and I’m grateful to watch all this innovation.
In response to a question on this post, at left is a picture of the antennas on the bottom of the plane.