Broadband connectivity specialist Gogo intends to make a new 5G air-to-ground (ATG) network available from 2021. It will be designed for business and regional jets, plus smaller mainline aircraft operating within the contiguous USA and Canada.
“We expect to launch Gogo 5G at the same time as the terrestrial telecommunications companies are deploying the same generation of technology on the ground – a first in the inflight connectivity industry,” said Oakleigh Thorne, CEO of Gogo. “Gogo 5G is the next step in our technology evolution and is expected to deliver an unparalleled user experience, pairing high performance with low latency and network-wide redundancy.”
Gogo will build the 5G network on its existing infrastructure of more than 250 towers and will use unlicensed spectrum in the 2.4GHz range, along with a proprietary modem and advanced beamforming technology. Gogo’s 5G infrastructure will support all spectrum types (licensed, shared, unlicensed) and bands (mid, high, low), and will allow Gogo to take advantage of new advances in technology as they are developed. Similar to how wireless carriers provide redundancy across their networks, Gogo will continue to employ its 3G and 4G networks throughout the continental USA and in Canada that will provide backup to the 5G network when needed.
The company argues that ground-based network technologies in general deliver certain operational advantages over satellite technologies – specifically lower cost of operation and lower latency. Gogo is committed to provide easy upgrade paths to 5G for existing Gogo ATG customers.