AT&T Inc. is scrapping its plans to introduce 4G LTE wireless Internet access on commercial flights.
AT&T had said in April that it would work to build a land-to-air high-speed network to serve airlines with in-flight Wi-Fi Internet access. The service, in partnership with Honeywell International Inc., was to be introduced as soon as late 2015, mounting a potential challenge to Wi-Fi provider Gogo Inc.
The effort to offer in-flight Wi-Fi is being sacrificed as AT&T trims its capital expenditures for next year 14% to about $18 billion. AT&T reduced the forecast last week at the same time that the Dallas company announced the $2.5-billion acquisition of wireless provider Grupo Iusacell as it furthers its push into Mexico.
"After a thorough review of our investment portfolio, the company decided to no longer pursue entry into the Inflight Connectivity industry," Fletcher Cook, a spokesman for AT&T, said in a statement. "We are focusing our capital on transformative investments, such as international and video."
Gogo spokesman Steve Nolan declined to comment on AT&T's decision.
Gogo has spent about $1 billion on building its business and a network to serve airlines, Chief Executive Michael Small said. "We look forward to competing with existing competitors and anyone else who wants to get into the space," he said.