Gogo to launch in-flight texting option

Nov. 9, 2013 at 11:13 AM

CHICAGO, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- In-flight Wi-Fi company Gogo said it is working with airlines to provide texting on planes now that U.S. officials have approved use of hand-held gadgets.

The Federal Aviation Administration said last week it will soon allow the use of smartphones and other devices on planes, but airlines will require passengers to flip their gadgets to airplane mode before boarding, which will cancel out cellular network services, ABC News reported Saturday.

In addition, most airlines do not want passengers making phone calls on flights because it may disturb passengers who are trying to sleep, read or sit quietly, the report said.

Gogo, which provides planes with Wi-Fi services, said it will have texting available by the first quarter of 2014 for passengers who download a special application -- available at the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store -- before takeoff.

"We know U.S. carriers don't want the talk piece. But we know someone might not want to pay for the full connectivity or wireless option. We think that a texting option would allow people to connect on the ground and be a more affordable option," Gogo spokesman Steve Nolan said.

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