Last week, I flew from Chicago to New York LaGuardia airport, just so I could catch a plane back to Minneapolis. The purpose of this fun one-day trip was to fly on a Gogo 2Ku equipped plane, and test our system in a real world environment. On the Gogo PR team, I’ve had plenty of flights on our own test plane, but this would actually be my first flight using the commercial version of 2Ku.
The results of this test are exactly what you’d see if you were using 2Ku – nobody at Gogo was looped in about my testing, and I logged in using a session purchased through Delta.com at the same time I booked my ticket.
Due to the layout of LaGuardia airport, I moved towards the B concourse so I could get a better view of my incoming plane, which also gave me the opportunity to take my own #DomeSpotting photo. My plane for the day is almost parked at its gate above, and you can clearly see the Gogo 2Ku radome towards the middle.
Once on board, I connected to Gogo using my iPhone, and was greeted by special mentions on the Delta portal letting me know I was on a 2Ku flight with faster inflight Wi-Fi. Additionally, the portal also shows the global coverage area of 2Ku.
Other than the updates to the portal, the sign-in procedure is identical to any other Gogo flight, and I was quickly connected to the internet using the pre-purchased pass in my account.
Of course, this is where the fun really began, as I started putting the service through its paces, starting with a couple of speed tests. The results from these speed tests are really impressive, but since a speed test is not much more than a snapshot of performance, I also opened Netflix and started streaming Caddyshack, followed by Animal House. Even though the plane was already at cruising speed and altitude by the time I started my tests, the streaming video played immediately, and continued to stream all the way to the gate in Minneapolis. At no point during the flight did the streaming slow down or show signs of buffering, even when the plane was making sharp turns or taxiing to get to the arrival gate.
Speed tests continued to show results over 10Mbps, and tests that relied heavily on downloading large files or other content had no problems at all, performing pretty much the same way they would on the ground.
Our 2Ku technology offers huge advantages to passengers and to airlines. As a passenger, I could definitely tell the available bandwidth was higher than on a legacy Gogo flight, and even bandwidth intensive applications like streaming Netflix were no problem. Unlike other satellite systems I’ve flown in the past, there were absolutely no interruptions to my connection . As mentioned earlier, this test did not involve any special planning, and I could see plenty of other passengers around me taking advantage of Gogo, so I was definitely sharing the bandwidth with my fellow fliers.
You’ll currently find Gogo 2Ku on select AeroMexico, Delta and GOL aircraft. We’re installing around 1 new plane every day, with over 100 already flying with the technology. Future upgrades to our 2Ku system include access to the newest HTS (high throughput) satellites, live streaming TV, unique access to low earth orbit satellites and advancements in modem technology. These updates can all take place using the existing antenna, making 2Ku the most future-proof connectivity solution flying today. We’re confident you’ll love using 2Ku on one of your next flights, and hope you’ll share your experience with us on Twitter or Facebook.