It wasn’t that long ago that traveling across the world meant being disconnected for up to 16 hours, or at the very least, being connected with a very slow system only capable of some text messages and the occasional Tweet. Gogo changed that within the United States in 2008 with our ATG network, and now we are changing it again thanks to our revolutionary 2Ku In-flight Internet service.
2Ku delivers Internet to the plane through a global network of satellites, using 2 special flat panel antennas mounted on top of the plane. These antennas pick up the satellite signal, then broadcast it as Wi-Fi inside the cabin, allowing passengers to connect using their personal devices. Incredibly, this means that the signal from your iPad (or other device) travels over 70,000 kilometers just to go to the Internet and back. In a recent chart, we visualized the trip your data has to take, click here to view it. The technology involved in making this happen is astounding, and it takes some incredible people to make everything work the way it does.
The 2Ku system we developed doesn’t just deliver record breaking Internet speeds to the plane – it delivers Internet, live television (on select airlines) as well as special connected services for the flight crew. The speeds provided by 2Ku allow far more applications to be used in-flight than ever before. One of the number one things our customers like to do with these speeds is of course streaming video. For years, our air to ground (or ATG) system relied on limited bandwidth between the plane and our ground based network. ATG is a fantastic solution for serving thousands of planes with reliable Wi-Fi, but it isn’t suitable for streaming. With the introduction of 2Ku, streaming isn’t just supported – in many cases it is actually encouraged! For the launch of 2Ku, AeroMexico teamed up with Netflix to offer free streaming for a month, and thousands of customers took advantage of this fantastic promotion.
The next big advantage of offering satellite Wi-Fi is of course coverage; aircraft are no longer limited to the land based connectivity offered by our ground network. These planes can connect to to 100’s of satellites, and our technology makes switching between satellites nearly instantaneous. This means passengers can cross oceans without noticing any interruptions to their connection. And finally, if these features don’t sound exciting enough, we also offer our 2Ku service gate-to-gate on most airlines and destinations allowing passengers to stay connected from the moment they board the plane all the way to gate at their destination.
This is what you need to know about 2Ku:
- Faster connections: Gogo aims to provide 15Mbps of speed to each passenger on the plane.
- Excellent reliability: 2Ku is a hugely reliable system, and connectivity is available 98% of flight time.
- Expansive coverage: We cover 98% of the world’s flight routes, and with the exception of the poles, Gogo 2Ku coverage is available almost anywhere planes fly.
We saved the best part for last: 2Ku isn’t some futuristic view of what connectivity will be like in several years. 2Ku is available right now, and is already installed on over 500 aircraft. Major airlines like AeroMexico, American, British Airways, Delta, Gol, JTA and Virgin Atlantic are all currently flying around the world with 2Ku equipped planes, crossing oceans and continents with connected passengers.
Having this many aircraft already outfitted with 2Ku means you’ll enjoy the experience on anything from a domestic flight from Miami to New York to a long haul international flight from Heathrow to Hong Kong. In fact, the photo taken at the top of this article was taken over the Mediterranean when flying Virgin Atlantic to Dubai and was posted live to Facebook while binge watching Netflix and checking email on a second laptop.
We really do live in incredible times, and we’re thrilled to be the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation. We are the Inflight Internet Company!