British Airways in talks to launch sky-high Wi-Fi

On a plane? Soon you’ll be able to connect to Facebook to tell people you’re on a plane. Yes, in-flight may be coming to British Airways planes in the next few years - here’s what we know.

My, oh my - there's Wi-Fi in the sky.

Or at least there could be by 2016 for British Airways passengers. The airline has announced that it soon supply internet access on its planes, even at 38,000 feet.

BA is in talks with a British satellite company, Inmarsat, to deliver on-board internet. The company plans to spend around £270million on the project, with around half of that ear-marked to launch a new satellite to deliver Wi-Fi to planes.

This isn't new technology - satellite broadband has been around for years now. In fact, many US airlines already offer in-flight Wi-Fi - Europe's lagging behind somewhat in that regard. BA and Inmarsat's deal could potentially help the technology - ahem - take off in this continent too.

Once the satellite is available, the service will be tested on domestic routes first. If successful, it will be rolled out across the 130 BA planes operating across Europe.

The launch of in-flight Wi-Fi in the US has been seen as a success, with the service - called GoGo - already inspiring a rival network from US telecoms company AT&T. The hope is that European on-board Wi-Fi could encourage similar market growth - Robert Pearce, Inmarsat's chief says he wants the service to be a 'billion dollar industry' by 2020.

So how much will it cost you and me? Well, less than $1billion at least. There's no word on potential pricing, but we can speculate. GoGo costs $16 (£9.50) for a day pass, $5 (£3) for an hour and $59.95 (£36) for a monthly pass. We'd expect UK prices to be around that - possibly slightly higher.

Are you on board with Wi-Fi on the plane or do you enjoy the peace and quiet of the clouds? Share your thoughts in the comments

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