Gogo invests in ground network to support North American connectivity

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Gogo is developing its next-generation ground-based technology to better serve the connectivity needs of business and commercial aviation in North America. The company says the technology will offer ground-like performance, including the ability to stream videos, for business aviation aircraft, commercial regional jets and select narrow-body aircraft operating within the USA and Canada. It is expected to be available in 2018. “We now have upgrade paths to more than 100Mbps for both our North American ground-based and our global satellite networks,” said Michael Small, president and CEO at Gogo.

The new network will use unlicensed spectrum, a proprietary modem and a new beam-forming antenna to produce peak network speeds of more than 100Mbps. This network will utilize LTE technology and Gogo’s existing first-generation North American network and infrastructure of more than 250 towers.

“Leveraging our first-generation network is key to making this next-generation network highly reliable and economical to deploy,” said Anand Chari, chief technology officer at Gogo. “The next-generation network will also be backward-compatible with the first-generation network, which means an aircraft will be able to switch seamlessly between Gogo’s two networks, similar to how a cell phone on the ground connects to the fastest available network.”

Gogo says benefits will include low equipment cost and weight, overnight installation, low drag on the aircraft because of the antennas’ small size, and advantages in terms of latency compared with satellite solutions.

Aircraft outfitted with one of Gogo’s earlier air-to-ground technologies will need a new modem and blade antenna to take advantage of the new service.

October 5, 2016

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Izzy has been part of the Business Jet Interiors International team since its second issue, and the editor since 2011. She also edits Auditoria, Railway Interiors International and Winter Sports Technology International. Outside of work, Izzy is rediscovering her love of art by learning how to paint with watercolors.

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