Chip problems delay Gogo’s 5G start
July 28, 2023
By Chris Forrester
Gogo Business Aviation, which provides connectivity and broadband to business jets, says that it has had to delay its 5G system launch “due to a design error in a non-5G component of its chip, which was designed by a third-party subcontractor of its 5G solution provider”.
“We are disappointed in this delay, but remain confident that Gogo 5G will deliver better performance and better value than competitive ATG or GEO satellite solutions,” said Sergio Aguirre, Gogo’s president and COO.
Gogo says it has already achieved significant milestones in the launch of Gogo 5G, including the launch of the Gogo 5G antenna and the 150-site ground-based network in the United States and Canada. Gogo continues to take 5G orders and is making headway with major OEMs to make 5G a line-fit option. Additionally, customers can pre-provision today with 5G antennas and harnesses, which will allow operators to quickly install the 5G box once the chip is available.
Gogo says its 5G service is expected to provide ~25 Mbps on average, with peak speeds in the 75-80 Mbps range, outperforming any competitive geosynchronous (GEO) satellite or air-to-ground (ATG) solution. It has been designed with the goal of delivering high throughput with very low latency, addressing the increased demand in data-heavy services and applications in use today, such as video conferencing, cloud computing and social media, as well as emerging technologies in the future.
Despite the delay, Gogo remains confident in its ability to bring to market the first 5G network exclusively for business aviation. Gogo’s suppliers have so far successfully conducted extensive testing of the 5G components of the chip, and the design error is not in the 5G block of the chip.
Gogo expects the project to remain on budget, but that the delay is anticipated to reduce 2023 revenue by approximately $7 million (€6.3m) and defer approximately $13 million in operating and capital expense from 2023 into 2024. Gogo plans to share more details during its second quarter 2023 earnings call on August 7, 2023.
As of March 31st, 2023, Gogo reported 3,447 business aircraft flying with Gogo’s AVANCE L5 or L3 system installed, 7,046 aircraft flying with its ATG systems onboard, and 4,458 aircraft with narrowband satellite connectivity installed.