Cautious but confident, Gogo issued a report this morning declaring success in mitigating the deicing fluid issues on its 2Ku inflight wifi antenna hardware. More than 2,600 potential deicing events showed zero affected aircraft so far this winter.
A pair of recent earnings reports left open questions about just how many aircraft are generating how much inflight connectivity revenue. Both Gogo and Inmarsat clarified those positions, providing better context around their numbers.
A pair of earnings reports last week left open questions about just how many aircraft are generating how much inflight connectivity revenue. Both Gogo and Inmarsat clarified those positions, providing better context around their numbers.
Maybe it has never truly been cheap for passengers, but airlines historically took advantage of great deals from suppliers to secure inflight wifi connectivity solutions relatively inexpensively. As those vendors now seek financial stability more than market share a shift is underway. Is the era of cheap wifi over? (And did it ever really exist?!?)
Gogo revised its expectations for 2020 and beyond, announcing updated goals as the company continues its drive towards profitability. Alas, details on those revised targets will not be shared with investors. CEO Oakleigh Thorne shared that the new math takes into account "more realistic expectations" of satellite costs and the shift to the airline-directed model. Assuming the new numbers are part of the Q3 '18 numbers they should help the company significantly, though there are indications some parts of the operation could revert to higher costs. The inability for global revenue to keep pace with growth in North America is also concerning given the company's current backlog.
GOL Linhas Aereas inked a deal to install Gogo’s Aircraft Data Service, Wireless Quick Access Recorder and Automated Turbulence Reporting on board across its fleet. The Brazilian carrier, already a 2Ku customer, becomes the launch customer for these platforms. The partnership should improve the airline’s operational efficiency while also helping Gogo expand into the connected airframe market.
Global Eagle took Albatross One, its flying testbed, on a field trip to Canada last week and the results proved incredibly positive. The inflight connectivity provider partnered with satellite-operator Telesat to deliver data across the Phase 1 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite and geostationary Anik F3 using a common on-board antenna from Qest and modem from Gilat. The test flight proved that transitions from the GEO satellite to LEO and back can work on the company's gimbal-mount Ka-band antenna solution. During inflight testing, the team successfully demonstrated industry-leading data upload speeds from the aircraft, engaged in uninterrupted video chatting and movie streaming, and experienced the lowest latency of any satellite connection to date.
The test flights are the latest step in Global Eagle's efforts to position itself as a technology leader in the inflight connectivity world. Company executives have talked up the new constellation since the test satellite launched at the beginning of 2018. During the recent APEX EXPO in Boston LEO connectivity was a frequent topic of conversation. For Alexis Steinman, SVP Aviation Solutions, there is no subtlety in the company's plans: "We are betting big on LEO." With this latest successful test expect that bet to continue to grow.
As the new Thales/Spirit Airlines Ka-band inflight wifi connectivity solution inches closer to flight testing it appears necessary to dispel one rumor about timing and opine on a very different one about the antenna technology that will be used on board.
Low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations promise higher capacity and lower latency for connections. They also bring significant challenges, mostly owing to far more frequent satellite switching to maintain a connection. Add in an airplane moving though the sky and the complexity increases further. Multiple vendors are now moving through the testing process, with plans to deliver functional solutions as early as 2019, well ahead of the satellite constellations being ready for such connections.
It was one of the worst kept secrets in the inflight connectivity world. Now it is no longer a secret. Air France finally confirmed that its single-aisle fleet will carry the Global Eagle Ku-band satellite system for its on board wifi service. The service will operate in partnership with French telecom carrier Orange.