Aircraft communications service provider, Gogo, has revealed details of 2Ku, the next step in its “technology roadmap” for global connectivity. Gogo said at its launch at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2014 that it expects this new technology to outperform other global connectivity solutions currently available in the market. Japan Airlines will be among the first carriers to trial this advanced technology, as will Air Canada (DETAILS HERE).
2Ku will use the same low-profile antennas as Gogo’s Ground to Orbit (GTO) technology, which will be deployed for aircraft flying in North America; however, instead of using Gogo’s Air to Ground solution for the return link to the ground, 2Ku will have two low-profile, high-efficiency Ku-band satellite antennas. The new technology will deliver peak speeds to the aircraft of more than 70Mbps.
“2Ku is the next step in our technological evolution and is a ground-breaking new technology for the global commercial aviation market,” said Gogo’s president and CEO, Michael Small. “When we launched our in-flight Internet service five years ago, we were able to deliver peak speeds to the aircraft of 3.1Mbps through our ATG network. About a year ago, we began deployment of our next-generation ATG-4 service, which took peak speeds to 9.8Mbps. Our GTO solution takes the peak speed to 70Mbps in the US, and 2Ku brings 70Mbps to the rest of the world.”
According to Gogo, the 2Ku antenna is approximately twice as spectrally efficient as other antennas in the commercial aviation market, which means it will produce more bandwidth at less cost. The spectral efficiency also makes it great for TV applications. The antenna is 4.5in-tall, which reduces drag on the aircraft compared to other satellite solutions. The company also says that 2Ku will be of great benefit in the tropical regions of the globe where satellite solutions can degrade due to restrictions associated with operating at high skew angles.
The 2Ku antenna and its increased spectral efficiency are compatible with today’s Ku satellites and future Ku satellites, including future spot beam satellites. Because the antenna can be used with any Ku-satellite, says Gogo, it avoids the single point of failure that comes with reliance on a single satellite for connectivity in a given region, and offers airlines redundancy and reliability.
“We anticipate that this technology will deliver peak speeds of 70Mbps to the plane when initially launched and more than 100Mbps when new spot beam satellite technologies become available,” stated Gogo’s chief technology officer, Anand Chari.