China remains, somewhat surprisingly, one of the least connected aerospace markets in the world. Once again, however, there are hints that could change with the deployment of a massive air-to-ground network. Backed by local airlines, telecom companies, and – most importantly – the government, efforts are once again underway to deliver a trial ATG network in the country.
Six months ago SmartSky triumphed in defending a key patent from challenge by Gogo. Now the upstart is going on the offensive, challenging the Gogo 5G offering violates at least four of its patents.
Gogo’s new 5G in-flight WiFi service moved step closer to reality, with the airplane antenna receiving certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.
What if satellites alone are not the best solution to mobile connectivity demand? Under its newly announced Orchestra initiative, Inmarsat wants to take a different tack. The company plans to layer multiple communications technologies, adding terrestrial services and LEO satellites to the existing GEO satellite footprint. Traffic will route via the best available network at any given time.
How does a major satellite connectivity company solve the problem of congestion at crowded (air)ports without disrupting billions of dollars in existing infrastructure? It is an answer that, much like the network (and ogres), comes with lots of layers.
The next certification in SmartSky’s path to operations is secured. The company announced that the ground-based remote radiohead for its next-generation air-to-ground network has received Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval.
The next generation of Gogo’s air-to-ground in-flight connectivity network is taking shape. The company announced a number of development milestones this week, including installation of the first ground tower infrastructure and test flights.
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?
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.