Gogo announced that its Gogo Biz 4G airborne connectivity system will be available for the business aviation market in early 2017, offering service more than three times faster than its existing air-to-ground system.
Gogo’s air-to-ground connectivity system runs on a network of approximately 160 cellular telephone towers with antennas oriented toward the sky to provide coverage over the Continental U.S. and portions of Alaska and Canada. The 4G air-to-ground service has been operational with airlines since 2012, and more than 1,000 airliners currently fly with Gogo ATG 4, according to the company.
The existing Gogo Biz air-to-ground service offers peak speeds of up to 3.1 Mbps, while the 4G service reportedly runs at up to peak speeds of 9.8 Mbps. The existing service uses the EV-DO Rev. A (evolution data optimized) telecommunications standard, while the new 4G service is EV-DO Rev. B. However, a Gogo spokesman explained, “This is a system designed and tailored specifically for the business aviation market. EV-DO Rev. A [to] Rev. B is indeed part of the difference in technologies, and there are others–all of which will contribute to a significantly more capable service, including support for streaming video.”
In addition to streaming video, the Gogo Biz 4G service will allow streaming audio, email with attachments, web browsing, voice calling and VPN support.
Owners of existing Gogo Biz systems who want to install the 4G equipment will be offered “loyalty programs with significant trade-in incentives,” according to Gogo, as the existing transceivers will not be upgradeable to 4G. The 4G system includes dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi “and a host of other features” in a single box. After launch of 4G service for the business aviation market, Gogo plans to continue selling the existing Gogo Biz systems to give buyers more options for airborne connectivity.