Saudi Arabia’s first air-to-ground inflight internet service is now online, thanks to Saudia, Skyfive, CITC, STC, and Eclipse Global Connectivity.
Gogo’s legal victory at the end of September allows the company to continue selling its new Gogo 5G network, even as SmartSky believes it will succeed with an appeal to have the injunction reinstated. The ruling also saved the company a few million dollars.
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.
Can you have a continuous inflight internet connection, even when the link between an aircraft and the ground occasionally breaks? This question is one of several at the crux of the SmartSky/Gogo patent dispute. And as SmartSky appeals the ruling from earlier late last month denying it a preliminary injunction, this technical nuance takes the spotlight.
Gogo scored an early victory in the proceedings of the patent infringement lawsuit brought by SmartSky. The District Court in Delaware declined SmartSky’s request for a preliminary injunction, allowing Gogo to continue developing, installing, and marketing the Gogo 5G solution.
High speed inflight connectivity over China took another step forward earlier this month, as Safran Passenger Innovations (SPI) and SkyFive announced a partnership to integrate their services for airlines. The SkyFive air-to-ground networking hardware will connect to SPI’s RAVE on-board platform, with promises of incredibly high speed, low latency service to passengers.
Wondering where SmartSky’s air-to-ground inflight WiFi towers are? The company appears happy to share that information. It released a map showing the coverage footprint in response to “several requests for a coverage map to illustrate the availability of SmartSky’s inflight connectivity and the distinctive way in which it is delivered.”
The technology is proven, with hundreds of aircraft connected across Europe. But building out a new in-flight connectivity platform and deploying it to an airline remains an expensive proposition. Global air-to-ground technology provider SkyFive plans to address that major challenge with a new round of funding.
The SmartSky nation-wide network is now complete. The new air-to-ground in-flight internet solution can deliver connectivity across the continental United States via hundreds of towers.
Gogo hit the halfway point in its 5G network deployment. The company announced installation of the 75th upgraded tower, of the planned 150 expected at service launch planned for later this year.