Gogo Business Aviation has completed several key milestones in the development of its 5G air-to-ground (ATG) network and onboard equipment. The Gogo 5G network is being designed for aircraft operating within the contiguous United States, and is the fourth ATG US-wide network Gogo has designed and built. Gogo expects the 5G network to be available in the second half of 2022.
For the ground network, Gogo has installed the first two 5G antennas on a tower, which will now be used to conduct prototype testing of system performance. The company has also completed development of its 5G air card prototypes and has completed coast-to-coast flight testing of its 5G belly-mounted antennas to validate their performance. Gogo reports it has conducted a flight test and successfully established a connection between the 5G antennas on the aircraft and the 5G antennas on the ground tower.
“The tests we’ve conducted and successfully passed validate what we modelled when we initially announced we would build a 5G network,” said Mike Syverson, senior vice president of engineering for Gogo. “Through the testing we’ve done so far, we now know that Gogo 5G is going to be better than we originally thought it would be.”
Gogo says it has also successfully performed an end-to-end call using a 5G SIM card, from the onboard equipment to the cell site, through the data centre to the internet, and back.
“What we’ve done is validate that our systems can talk to one another,” Syverson continued. “The antennas can talk to the cell site, which in turn can talk to the data centre. There is a lot of software development to put those pieces together, and it’s all working very well.”
In other Gogo news, the company’s Avance L5 and L3 systems have now been installed and are flying on 2,000 business aircraft. Combined, the two systems have flown nearly 600,000 flights, consuming 262.61 terabytes of data. Gogo achieved these milestones in less than four years following the first Avance L5 installation in October 2017.
The L5 platform delivers a 4G experience to business aircraft, from light jets to the largest global business jets, and will be able to take advantage of the upcoming Gogo 5G network.