In-flight broadband and communications (IFC) operator Gogo says it is now operating its TV service on more than 550 aircraft with three global airlines.
Gogo TV delivers live television programming to aircraft for passenger consumption, including sports and news. Content can be delivered to passengers’ Wi-Fi enabled personal electronic devices or integrated into an airline’s seatback entertainment system. Channel options are customised by the airline that allow passengers to watch popular networks in their country or region. The service is available to airlines that select Gogo’s 2Ku high-speed satellite connectivity system and is delivered through the existing in cabin network.
“Passengers expect live TV and video in the cabin with the consistency and quality they experience on their couches at home, but there are unique challenges to delivering new inflight TV and video products and services,” says Blane Boynton, SVP/Product Management at Gogo. “Unlike legacy live TV systems with a dedicated TV antenna, Gogo’s satellite antennas supports both the fastest connectivity available to passengers and live TV. Gogo enables airlines to deliver market-leading in-flight entertainment products that enhance the competitiveness and profitability of our partners.”
Gogo says its TV service uses High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) compression that reduces satellite bandwidth usage up to 40 per cent. Unlike competitive systems, Gogo TV combines multiple channels into a single multicast stream. The result of statistical multiplexing is the best possible perceived video quality while consuming the least total bandwidth, making Gogo TV the most bandwidth efficient live TV solution on the market today.
Gogo recently reported revenues for its Q2 (to June) were up 32 per cent y-o-y, at $227.5 million. Its guidance is for sales this year of some $900 million. It has previously admitted that it is facing “major challenges” in its commercial aviation business and is considering investment opportunities that could involve splitting up and selling off its business and commercial aviation divisions.
“Gogo has received a number of strategic inquiries from financial and strategic acquirers in the last few weeks, and our board has considered those inquiries and asked management to assess them,” Gogo CEO Oakleigh Thorne told analysts in mid-July.