September 29, 2016 – Gogo is developing a next-generation ground-based technology which will improve inflight connectivity for business and commercial aviation in the USA and Canada, with an expected launch window of 2018.
“Gogo continues to bring the best in-flight connectivity technologies to market,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO. “We now have upgrade paths to more than 100Mbps for both our North American ground-based and our global satellite networks.”
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 – sufficient to allow passengers to stream video. This next-generation ground-based network will use LTE technology and leverage 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, Gogo’s CTO. “Gogo’s next-generation network will also be backward-compatible with our first-generation network, which means an aircraft will be able to seamlessly switch between the two networks, similar to how a cellphone on the ground connects to the fastest available network.”
According to Gogo, the benefits of this new network for commercial aircraft operating within the USA and Canada include low equipment cost and weight, overnight installation possibilities, and low drag on the aircraft due to the small size of the antennas. The network also has advantages in terms of latency compared to satellite solutions, says the company.
Aircraft outfitted with one of Gogo’s earlier generation air-to-ground technologies will simply need to be outfitted with a new modem and blade antenna to take advantage of the new service.