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Gogo Minimizes Connectivity Gap with 5G Network

By Greg Tavarez

Anyone who has traveled via air in recent years knows the only way to connect a mobile device or laptop with in flight is through the aircraft’s Wi-Fi. While it is mostly reliable and gets the job done at the time for lighter tasks, more bandwidth-intensive tasks and applications need to wait until you’re on the ground with a better connection.  In fact, most such applications aren’t even allowed on flights because in-flight connectivity can’t handle them.

Gogo wanted to minimize that gap between airborne and ground connectivity and will do so with the completed construction of its Gogo 5G network, which covers the contiguous U.S. and will expand into Canada in 2023. Gogo 5G is the mobile broadband network exclusively for business aviation and is 100% end-to-end true 5G as defined by 3GPP, the global consortium that sets mobile broadband standards.

"Our team was tenacious and overcame a host of issues including COVID-19, weather, the supply chain and geopolitical concerns to build a new network of 150 towers nationwide – and they did it in less than 12 months," said Sergio Aguirre, Gogo's president and chief operating officer.

Gogo 5G is expected to deliver around 25 Mbps on average with peak speeds in the 75-80 Mbps range. The 5G network will deliver high throughput with low latency to address the increasing demand for data-heavy interactive services like video conferencing, live TV and gaming.

The first-article Supplemental Type Certification, or STC, for the 5G MB13 antennas and the X3 LRU are completed and will be amended once the 5G chip is available, which is expected to occur in mid-2023.

Customers who want Gogo 5G service will need to install the AVANCE L5 system with full 5G provisions, including the MB13 antennas, and operate on Gogo's 4G network until the X3 LRU is available. When the X3 is ready, 5G service will begin immediately after installation, saving downtime and expenses.

Additionally, Gogo will offer incentives to anyone who installs the 5G provisional kit with the AVANCE L5. Customers who provision for Gogo 5G before Oct. 31, 2023, will receive a 100% rebate on the X3 5G LRU hardware upon full Gogo 5G installation completion and activation if completed by Oct. 31, 2024.

So, there’s benefit for early adopters, but the bigger benefit will be what should be a massively improved user in-flight experience.

Edited by Erik Linask

SmartCity Editor

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