November 10, 2014 / 8:50 PM / 5 years ago

AT&T scraps plans for in-flight high-speed internet service

The signage for an AT&T store is seen in New York October 29, 2014. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - AT&T Inc has scrapped its plans to launch high-speed Internet service on commercial flights in order to focus on international expansion and video offerings, the company said in a statement on Monday.

On Friday, the carrier announced a $1.7 billion acquisition of Mexican operator Iusacell, AT&T’s second major acquisition this year following a $48.5 billion bid for satellite operator DirecTV.

“After a thorough review of our investment portfolio, the company decided to no longer pursue entry into the in-flight connectivity industry.  We are focusing our capital on transformative investments, such as international and video,” said Fletcher Cook, a spokesman for AT&T.

In April, AT&T and Honeywell International Inc had announced a partnership to launch a high-speed 4G LTE-based in-flight connectivity service for airlines and passengers in commercial, business and general aviation in the U.S.

The product would have competed with in-flight internet services provider Gogo Inc., whose shares soared 10 percent on the news.

Reporting by Marina Lopes; Editing by Alan Crosby

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