Gogo is developing a 5G network for aircraft

During the flight, internet provider Gogo announced plans to do this Take 5G to the North American air from 2021. Gogo says the new 5G service is being designed for faster in-flight WiFi on smaller commercial airlines in the continental United States and Canada, the even smaller regional aircraft of those companies, and also on business aircraft.


Gogo says it will essentially integrate the 5G network into the 250 towers that the company is currently renting to feed its air-to-ground (ATG) service. Most Gogo-equipped commercial aircraft (on airlines such as Delta) are still predominantly getting their internet connections from these ground stations, by the end of 2018, against 1881 of the 2,551 in North America, according to the company. most recent annual financial report.

The 5G connection is provided on board aircraft via a combination of 2.4 GHz without license, a "private modem" from Gogo and advanced bundling technology. The company says it will support & # 39; all spectrum types (licensed, shared, unlicensed) and bands (middle, high, low) & # 39; in an effort to support Gogo & # 39; s future-proof capability to increase speeds and bandwidth capabilities as the 5G technology matures.

Aircraft with the 5G capability can still use Gogo & # 39; s 3G and 4G connections as a backup. In an e-mail to The edge, Gogo & # 39; s communications director Dave Mellin said the company first put the 5G technology on & # 39; single towers & # 39; will bet for testing but cannot say when that will happen.

In recent years, Gogo has also developed devices with the ability to connect to the internet via satellites and with a fairly fast clip. While only 59 Gogo-equipped commercial aircraft made use of satellite-based internet in 2016, the company recently reported that by the end of 2018 this number increased to 670 with connections from a combination of satellites from SES, Intelsat and others. In the business aviation sector, Gogo uses satellite-based internet (provided by Iridium) for about half of the 10,000-plus aircraft for which the company provides connections.

One reason why Gogo has shifted to satellite internet is that it can be less difficult than ground-based connections. Most complaints about Gogo often concern connection interruptions and slow speeds. The ATG system is rather sensitive to these problems, especially when an aircraft switches from tower to tower, or when several aircraft connect to the same tower.

That said, Gogo – which has not made a profit since it became public in 2013 – said in his 2018 financial report that the development of the ATG network is crucial to the company's success, especially since it is currently capacity constrained. "If our next-generation ATG solution does not perform as expected or its commercial availability is significantly delayed compared to the timelines we identify, our business, financial situation and operating results may be materially adversely affected," the company wrote.


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