March 7, 2016 – Global broadband connectivity solutions and wireless entertainment provider, Gogo, has announced that it is partnering with Intelsat, operator of the world’s first ‘globalized network’, to leverage the first shared GEO/LEO satellite network for in-flight connectivity. Under the terms of the long-term agreement between the parties, they intend that Gogo’s next generation in-flight connectivity technology will be powered by a high-performance shared network featuring multi-layered Ku-band capacity on the Intelsat EpicNG high-throughput geosynchronous (GEO) satellites combined with OneWeb’s planned low earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation.
The Gogo 2Ku airborne terminal is designed to be compatible with multiple networks, including both the Intelsat EpicNG and OneWeb satellite constellations, a flexible approach which the two parties hope will ensure a technology solution that provides immediate benefits as well as a path to future network evolutions.
Beginning in 2016, Gogo will expand its use of the Intelsat Globalized Network by purchasing additional capacity on Intelsat’s Ku-band infrastructure, a contiguous, resilient network within Intelsat’s 50 satellite system which covers 99% of the world’s populated regions.
According to Gogo, the Intelsat network infrastructure will initially include use of traditional wide-beam services and the high-throughput satellite (HTS) Intelsat EpicNG platform, which is expected to enter service in 2016. Coverage will include HTS for the North Atlantic, Europe, Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Ocean provided by Intelsat 32e, Intelsat 33e and Horizons 3e. In 2019, Gogo’s 2KU system will begin to access the world’s first GEO/LEO shared network, an evolving service architecture that will incorporate the best features of Intelsat GEO and OneWeb LEO HTS capacity as the complete Intelsat EpicNG and OneWeb systems deploy. When the network is fully deployed, Gogo’s 2Ku systems will be able to dynamically route traffic across the global 10Tbps shared network based on coverage, latency, throughput and other performance criteria.
Gogo says that its customers will benefit from the continuous planned upgrades of the shared network, including up to 250Mbps per plane on the Intelsat EpicNG fleet. One Web’s Low Earth Orbit satellites are expected to be the first satellites to enable high performance services at high latitudes and on polar flights.
“Gogo’s open strategy gives us the ability to look to the entire satellite market for innovation, and Intelsat’s EpicNG satellites combined with OneWeb’s LEO constellation offers numerous advantages for aviation,” said Gogo’s president and chief executive officer, Michael Small.”Gogo continues to invest in open platforms that leverage the best connectivity technologies for aviation, because single technology, closed systems will not survive the test of time.”
“Gogo’s leading in-flight broadband service represents exactly the type of application for which our Globalized Network and Intelsat EpicNG platform are targeted: global, high performance and with a business model that will flourish with the right economics,” said Intelsat CEO, Stephen Spengler. “Our goal in creating the Intelsat/OneWeb shared network is to bring together the best solutions to support customer growth today while at the same time providing a future-proof path to an ever-improving global satellite infrastructure.”
“OneWeb’s unique constellation will enable broadband connectivity in the polar-regions and at high latitudes will also have low latency because the satellites are much closer to earth,” added Anand Chari, Gogo’s chief technology officer.”Intelsat EpicNG and the Intelsat Globalized Network provide high-performance services that will increase our service capability in this year and beyond. By using this shared network, Gogo’s 2Ku solution will be capable of delivering hundreds of Mbps per aircraft over every part of the globe.”