Gogo Business Aviation yesterday unveiled Avance L3, a lower-cost, lighter, and smaller version of its newest air-to-ground connectivity system targeting turboprops and light jets. Avance L3 delivers 3G airborne connectivity via Gogo’s network of ground stations in the continental U.S., and parts of Canada and Alaska, while also offering services similar to Gogo’s Avance L5 system for larger aircraft, but not L5’s 4G LTE throughput.
The main difference between Gogo’s ATG systems and Avance is that the new systems operate on the software-centric Avance platform, which allows customers to purchase service upgrades or downgrades without having to add new hardware. Changes to the service levels can be done remotely by Gogo.
Avance L3 provides access to all of Gogo’s Smart Cabin data, voice, maps, entertainment, and cabin management system (CMS) features. With a built-in smart router, Avance L3 connects to the Gogo Biz data network, and available services include connectivity for email, Gogo Text & Talk (additional service plan required), and voice calls. Customers can also opt for Gogo Vision (separate service plan) to access moving maps, weather, flight information, movies, and TV shows.
Three Avance L3 configurations are available: Core, for email, voice, and light Internet browsing for up to five devices; Plus, with full Internet connectivity and email for up to seven devices; and Max, same as Plus but for up to 25 devices. On the Avance platform, a customer could easily switch between any of the three configurations, for example, a customer who decides that Plus is too expensive could switch to Core with Gogo's assistance, including an hourly service program to save on connectivity costs.
Avance L3’s smart router delivers 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi in the cabin, multi-bearer data and voice management, integration with existing CMS, remote diagnostics, service activations, and changes; and a 4G/LTE terrestrial modem that connects to cellular networks for free Internet access on the ground in more than 120 countries. The built-in router eliminates the need to add a separate Cabin Telecommunication Router (CTR) as on the original ATG system. The Avance L3 uses less power and its LRU weighs 15 pounds, 3.5 pounds less than the two-LRU ATG with CTR setup.
While Avance L5 requires two dual-directional antennas, L3 works with the original Gogo omni-directional antennas. Avance L3 still operates on the original Gogo Biz 3G network, but L3 owners can upgrade to L5 later by installing new hardware, and in this case the dual-directional antennas will also be required. A buyer can also opt to install the dual-directional antennas with an L3 Avance installation, then later upgrade to L5 without having to replace the antennas.
Avance L3 retails for $39,995 for hardware and software, but not including installation. L3 units will begin shipping later this quarter, according to Gogo Business Aviation. While the Avance L3 system is ideal for turboprops and light jets, it can be installed in larger aircraft.
“We designed Avance L3 to provide a robust, high-performance Wi-Fi experience at an affordable price that gives customers the flexibility to add or reduce system capabilities as their business needs evolve,” said Mike Syverson, the senior vice president of development for Gogo Business Aviation. “Avance L3 gives the ability to move seamlessly to different service offerings without being constrained by the hardware itself.”