This technology will offer a ground-like performance, including the ability to stream videos, for business aviation aircraft, commercial regional jets and select narrow-body aircraft operating within the United States and Canada.
“Gogo continues to bring the best in-flight connectivity technologies to market,” said Michael Small, our president and CEO. “We now have upgrade paths to more than 100 Mbps 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 100 Mbps. This next generation ground-based network for the aero market will utilize LTE technology and leverage our 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 Gogo’s first generation network, which means an aircraft will be able to seamlessly switch between Gogo’s two networks similar to how a cell phone on the ground connects to the fastest available network.”
The benefits of this new network for commercial aircraft operating within the United States and Canada include: low equipment cost and weight, overnight installation, and low drag on the aircraft due to the small size of the antennas. It also has big advantages in terms of latency compared to satellite solutions. Aircraft outfitted with one of our earlier generation air-to-ground technologies will simply need to be outfitted with a new modem and blade antenna (pictured at the top of this article) to take advantage of the new service. The service is expected to be available in 2018.