Advanced Television

Gogo to offer 5G for passengers

June 3, 2019

By Chris Forrester

In-flight aviation broadband specialist Gogo says it will build a 5G network.

In a statement it said: “The new air-to-ground (ATG) network will be designed for use on business aviation aircraft, commercial regional jets and smaller mainline jets operating within the contiguous United States and Canada. Gogo expects the network to be available for business and commercial aviation in 2021.”

“We expect to launch Gogo 5G at the same time as the terrestrial telecommunications companies are deploying the same generation of technology on the ground – a first in the inflight connectivity industry,” said Oakleigh Thorne, CEO of Gogo. “Gogo 5G is the next step in our technology evolution and is expected to deliver an unparalleled user experience, pairing high performance with low latency and network-wide redundancy.”

Gogo says it will build the 5G network on its existing infrastructure of more than 250 towers and will use unlicensed spectrum in the 2.4GHz range, along with a proprietary modem and advanced beamforming technology. Gogo’s 5G infrastructure will support all spectrum types (licensed, shared, unlicensed) and bands (mid, high, low), and will allow Gogo to take advantage of new advances in technology as they are developed. Similar to how wireless carriers provide redundancy across their networks, Gogo will continue to employ its 3G and 4G networks throughout the continental US and in Canada that will provide backup to the 5G network when needed.

Gogo, in its latest set of results for the period to March 31st said its service revenues for Q1 grew by 10 per cent to $165 million, made up of $70.5 million from its Business Aviation division and $96.1 million from the Commercial Aviation division.  Its equipment was on board 2412 North American aircraft and 641 ‘Rest of World’ aircraft.

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