When it comes to delivering inflight wifi connectivity Intelsat sees significant upside from its ability to operate the network it is acquiring from Gogo mostly in-house. But that network and the install base also come with very real risks. Nearly half the approximately 3,300 planes in the current Gogo Commercial Aviation fleet operate without a satellite connection at all. Hundreds more in the Delta Air Lines fleet are subject to short-term contracts expiring between the anticipated deal close and the end of 2022.
This presents a huge challenge for Intelsat but also helps motivate the company to address the capacity and pricing challenges head-on, according to Chief Commercial Officer Samer Halawi.
Addressing Delta’s needs
Delta has also informed Gogo that it does not believe there is currently enough Ku satellite capacity over North America to meet its extensive user experience expectations for free Wi-fi service on its desired timeline. – Gogo SEC Filing
While Delta believes that spectrum diversity is necessary to address its expected dramatic increase in bandwidth required, Intelsat is less convinced.
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