With the final panels hoisted on to a tower atop a mountain in Oregon this week, Gogo now claims a completed 5G air-to-ground network as part of the company’s in-flight connectivity offerings. It is a major milestone for the rollout, but it will still be some time before planes are flying with the new network online.
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.– Sergio Aguirre, Gogo’s president and chief operating officer
The network consists of 150 towers across the United States. By comparison, SmartSky’s competing network uses roughly double the number of towers. Gogo plans to expand into Canada in 2023, furthering the new network coverage.
That timing also correlates with the expected availability of the 5G modem chips for the on-board systems. In August Gogo reported that testing of the chipset intended for its 5G service uncovered errors. As a result the systems will not ship until the middle of next year at the earliest. In the interim, Gogo is encouraging customers to purchase and install the AVANCE L5 system, including the new antennae which support the 5G network, but which operate today on the 4G towers. When the chipset issues are resolved the upgrade would be a relatively trivial installation.
The company also remains embroiled in a patent infringement lawsuit with SmartSky over the Gogo 5G network architecture and implementation. Gogo avoided an early preliminary injunction, allowing it to continue selling the solution. SmartSky is appealing that decision.
Gogo expects its 5G solution to deliver ~25 Mbps on average, with peak speeds in the 75-80 Mbps range. It is designed to deliver high throughput with very low latency to address the increasing demand for data-heavy interactive services like video conferencing, live TV and gaming.
Gogo’s AVANCE platform, with its multi-bearer capability and software-centric design, eases the upgrade paths to both Gogo 5G and Gogo’s global Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite-based product in the future.
More news from NBAA 2022
- A make or break situation for SmartSky, Gogo in patent showdown
- Gogo completes 5G tower deployment
- Starlink Aviation opens up for BizAv orders
- Inmarsat announces Honeywell, Satcom Direct for SwiftJet distribution
- Next Gen JetWave antenna boasts boosted BizAv performance
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