Getting a 5G air-to-ground network into service in the USA is a tough task, with schedules continuing to slip and questions about the hardware involved. But in China the new services are expected to launch soon, and expand quickly. Powered by Chinese manufacturer ZTE, a new network could be online in a matter of months.
Getting a new ATG network into service was never going to be easy. Can new CTO David Classen push SmartSky across the finish line, addressing the tower technical challenges along the way?
Chapter 11 is disappearing quickly from the rear view mirror. Satellite launches resumed and the constellation continues to grow. And earlier this month a new deal regarding an in-flight connectivity terminal and antenna solution helped buoy the company’s position further. To say that OneWeb is on a roll lately might be a massive understatement.
The Ides of March proved challenging in the upper ranks of SmartSky’s leadership. At least two members of the company’s senior leadership team appear to be affected by the changes.
Officially slipping the Gogo 5G network into 2022 from this year is not great news, but Gogo’s overall finances emerged from 2020 stronger than expected and the next 5 years should complete the transformation.
In-flight connectivity performance should get a bit better in the coming months for some Global Eagle customers thanks to an improved on-board transceiver. The Aerostream 40Ku, developed by Gilat, achieved DO-160G certification this week, allowing for development of production units as it moves towards FAA certification and aircraft installation.
SmartSky announced a new timeline for network deployment, plus some additional cash to help it get there.
Intelsat has a plan to emerge from its Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It involves slashing debt owed by more than half, from $15 billion to $7 billion. But the debtors must agree to those losses. If not, the company faces a more dire outcome, including the likely liquidation of its recently acquired Gogo Commercial Aviation business.
Access to Russia is critical when it comes to delivering satellite connectivity on a global basis. Viasat took a large step forward on that front this week, announcing a MOU with Gazprom for satellite capacity and TMC for the necessary local license to access the market.
Airlines are still navigating the timing challenges of how and when to return their aircraft to service. But as they do in-flight connectivity remains an important amenity to offer. And if you listen to the suppliers it is even more important now. PaxEx.Aero can now confirm that another airline fleet has wifi installed on board.