With its North American air-to-ground communications network powered by ZTE radios Gogo has been forced to deftly navigate the on again, off again federal restrictions surrounding Chinese suppliers. The latest iteration of this challenge comes as the US government finalizes regulations prohibiting the purchase of goods or services from companies that use components from the banned companies. ZTE is on the list, and Gogo has several federal contracts, but the company appears rather optimistic that it will not suffer from the new policies.
At every one of Gogo’s ATG towers ZTE hardware powers the communications with aircraft flying above. Replacing that infrastructure would be a massive investment, both in re-engineering the communications systems and the price tag for sourcing and installing the new equipment. To some extent that expense is reduced through the pending roll-out of the company’s new Gogo5G ATG-NG network. The new network will use radios from Cisco, Airspan and First RF, companies not on the block list.
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More on Gogo's ZTE adventures
- New direction, new challenges for Gogo: Q1 18 numbers
- An asterisk on Gogo’s improving revenue numbers
- PaxEx Premium: More ZTE headaches for ATG connectivity
- PaxEx Premium: Finding future financing
- Considering Gogo’s ATG-NG play
- Gogo brushes off new ZTE concerns
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