AT&T Inc. (T - Analyst Report), will reportedly offer in-flight Wi-Fi service. The service will available by late 2015 and would involve 4G LTE network. Through the new service offering, the company aims to bring faster connection, replacing the currently available expensive on air Internet.
Reportedly, AT&T has collaborated with Honeywell International Inc. (HON - Analyst Report) for hardware supplies to receive signals on the plane. However, AT&T would require FAA and FCC approval for installing equipment and using wireless airwaves network in flights.
Further, with the new in-flight offering, AT&T will compete with Gogo Inc. (GOGO - Snapshot Report), which is the leading provider of in-flight Internet in the U.S. This, we believe, would prompt AT&T to come up with strong promotional activities in order to establish itself in a new market.
Although, AT&T is yet to prove its mettle in on-flight Internet service but on ground, the company boasts the best Internet speeds in the industry, as it is the only U.S. carrier that provides 4G network through both Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and High-Speed Packet Access Plus (HSPA+) technologies.
AT&T’s LTE network serves as the benchmark of mobile technology and the life-blood for operators across the world. The company is running ahead of schedule in 4G LTE service deployment and expects to cover 300 million users by mid 2014.
To support these services, the company offers several 4G LTE smartphones and tablets. Smartphone sales were solid at $7.9 million in the quarter, resulting in higher data usage. As of Dec 31, 2013, smartphones comprised 93% of all post-paid sales. AT&T collaborated with NEC Corp. for the launch of 4G LTE hardy smartphone – NEC Terrain – with the aim of expanding coverage.
AT&T, currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Stocks with Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) include Level 3 Communications, Inc. (LVLT - Snapshot Report), is worth considering in this sector.