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Gogo deal helps boost Intelsat share price

Gogo is the snappily-named service which delivers Internet and broadband bandwidth to aircraft passengers for entertainment and e-mail and web-browsing. Gogo used the Satellite 2016 show in Washington DC to announce it had ordered up access to a potentially massive 10 Tb/s of capacity from Intelsat, and in doing so becomes the ‘anchor’ tenant for what Intelsat describe as “the world’s first GEO/LEO shared network”.

The news helped propel Intelsat’s share price up by a significant 15.6 per cent, to $2.30.

At the moment the announcement is a little forward looking in that there are no ‘OneWeb’ low Earth orbiting (LEO) satellites in space, but the deal is long-term and for the time being Gogo will rely on Intelsat’s ‘new generation’ EPIC series of satellite, now coming into service, as well as existing satellites in its fleet.

The OneWeb series of satellites will come into use in 2019.  Intelsat says that when the network is fully deployed, Gogo’s 2Ku systems will be able to dynamically route traffic across the fully global 10 Tbps shared network based on coverage, latency, throughput and other performance criteria.

Gogo’s prices are quite affordable. The Gogo service might be branded with the airline’s own logo, but a ‘1-hour’ pass, on any participating airline’ can cost as little as $5. Extend that to a 24-hour period on a US domestic airline (US, Canada & Mexico) and the price rises to $16. A monthly single airline domestic plan costs just $49.95.

The new Intelsat/Gogo agreement covers capacity over the North Atlantic, Europe, Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Ocean provided by Intelsat 32e, Intelsat 33e and Horizons 3e satellites.

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