Naming and Branding Agency

Posts from: March 2008

Igor’s latest naming work is a Gogo

Via today’s New York Times:

The Web’s last unconquered frontier – the airplane – is about to be invaded yet again.

This spring, Aircell, a 16-year-old company that sells air to ground telecommunications equipment to airlines, will launch a broadband wireless service for twitchy airplane passengers who need their Internet fix at 40,000 feet.

Two years ago, Aircell, based in Itasca, Ill., and Louisville, Colo., paid $31 million to the federal government for a batch of air-to-ground spectrum that was originally used for in-flight seat-back phones –- an expensive service that passengers largely ignored.

Aircell has since built 92 EVDO cell sites across the United States and pointed them at the sky, where they will bring 3.1-megabit-per-second Internet access to airplanes traveling thousands of feet above the ground at hundreds of miles per hour. The company’s on-board technology will magnify that signal and split it into separate Wi-Fi streams, offering speeds equivalent to a home D.S.L. connection to any passenger who wants to log on with his or her wireless device.

Aircell will start the service, called GoGo, with American Airlines this spring and then expand it with Virgin America over the summer.

If GoGo gets off the ground, it will fulfill the long-held promise of bringing Internet access to airplane passengers. Boeing tried it, somewhat disastrously, earlier this decade with its Connexion in-flight satellite service. Boeing signed up carriers such as Lufthansa, Japan Airlines and Singapore Airlines but the effort was eventually undone by belt-tightening after 9/11. The aircraft maker had to write off $320 million on what was widely reported to be a $1 billion investment.

Jack Blumenstein, Aircell’s chief executive, said GoGo is different in several ways. Airplanes can be retrofitted with the technology overnight, and the in-flight servers and antennas weigh less than 50 pounds, considerably less than Boeing’s bulky satellite receivers. Broadband wireless technology is now faster overall as well, while the array of Wi-Fi equipped consumer devices — from iPhones to laptops — has blossomed.

GoGo’s pricing plans will vary, but access during a cross-country flight should cost around $13. GoGo will also serve up-on-demand television and films from on-board, TiVo-like servers.

Mr. Blumenstein expects other airlines to come on board quickly. “Passengers want freedom and the ability to get back in control of their life and be productive,” he said. “All the data suggests passengers will change planes if one airline offers it and another doesn’t. The airlines will fight to the death over a 1 percent market share shift,” he said.

Readers, please discuss. This is clearly inevitable. Is anyone bothered that the last environment for unwired thinking and old-media-reading is about to be tethered to the grid? I’m ambivalent. Of course, I’ll also be among the first to log on.

Did we mention Gogo was named by Igor? Right, that’s what is most important here.

[ More posts about | More blogs about Aircell ] [ More posts about | More blogs about Gogo ]

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From very low

The misnamed “From on High” website makes fun of my friend Sue Daniels’, who was a peace activist and advocate for the poor, and who had been murdered shortly before the asshat that “writes” FOH posted this:

I have been following the story of the murder of Sue Daniels since it hit the local papers in November. The titillating story surrounding her relationship with the man who stalked and killed her, Niklan Jones-Lezama (who subsequently committed suicide himself), was only part of the saga that attracted me to her. Sue Daniels was a political activist. She was also a research associate at Virginia Tech, working on a PHD in biology.

I would categorize her political activities as being on the far left; as far left as one can recede before picking up a weapon and calling for the revolution of the proletariat. The “power to the people” kind of crowd. Here is what was written about her “activism” prior to her reporting to federal prison in November after having been found guilty of trespassing on government property (at Ft. Benning) during a protest of America’s involvement in Central and South America…

Sue and I lived together for four amazing years. There’s more, if you can stomach it, here.

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