AT&T’s ambitious plans to provide 4G in-flight connectivity have been shelved, the company revealed.The telecoms giant had been working on a service to challenge industry leader Gogo, a Chicago-based firm that has deals with Delta, Virgin and others.
In a statement, AT&T said it was pulling out of the project in order to invest money elsewhere, especially in “international and video”.
Last week, the firm acquired Mexican operator Iusacell for $1.7bn.
In April, AT&T and US conglomerate Honeywell announced plans to bring high-speed 4G in-flight connectivity to commercial airlines in the US. The companies said the bandwidth would be strong enough to allow for video streaming.
AT&T is reportedly in the process of buying satellite TV firm DirecTV, which offers airline entertainment, among other products.
But in a statement on Monday, AT&T said it was scrapping its plans to bring broadband to the skies.
“After a thorough review of our investment portfolio, the company decided to no longer pursue entry into the in-flight connectivity industry,” said Fletcher Cook, a spokesman for AT&T.
“We are focusing our capital on transformative investments, such as international and video”.
While many US airlines already offer in-flight connectivity, British carriers have yet to roll out such a service.
British Airways is working with satellite company Inmarsat to deliver on-board internet by 2017.