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AT&T promises 4G WiFi on planes as soon as next year

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Ready for 4G WiFi on planes?

Airline travelers who are frustrated with the speed of wireless Internet on planes may have some relief soon.

Communications giant AT&T has announced it is working to put 4G LTE wireless Internet on commercial planes by as soon as late 2015.

AT&T said it is working with aerospace technology company Honeywell to develop an air-to-ground network for the continental U.S. that will offer broadband speed Internet for airlines.

The announcement would put AT&T in competition with GoGo, the technology company that offers in-flight wireless Internet to several airlines, including American Airlines, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America.

GoGo spokesman Steve Nolan said he believes its WiFi service is already fast enough to "compete with anything."

AT&T's announcement comes a few months after the Federal Aviation Administration announced it is easing restrictions on the use of portable electronic devices during takeoffs and landings.

WiFi is now available on about 40% of all domestic commercial flights in the U.S., according to a study by the travel website Routehappy.com.

In addition, the Federal Communications Commission is considering lifting its ban on cellphone calls in commercial flights.

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