Onboard connectivity provider Gogo on Tuesday at NBAA-BACE announced three strategic development partners for its planned 5G system and network: Cisco, Airspan, and First RF. The new partner companies “are on the leading edge of wireless network technology,” said Gogo Business Aviation president Sergio Aguirre, pledging the three will create “the most capable network and systems in aviation.”
Gogo’s 5G network will use unlicensed spectrum in the 2.4GHz range and be built on Gogo’s existing infrastructure, comprising more than 250 towers. Designed for business aircraft and commercial regional jets operating within the contiguous U.S. and Canada, Gogo expects the network to begin operations in 2021.
Cisco, selected for its expertise in providing 4G/5G solutions for major wireless communication companies, will provide the core network solutions powering the terrestrial air-to-ground (ATG) network. Offering a cloud-to-client approach for service delivery, Cisco will help unify multi-vendor solutions into a single, standards-based architecture the 5G network will require.
Airspan will provide the same carrier-grade technology as its Air5G product line, using virtualized-RAN base station technology employing Massive MIMO antenna arrays for increased capacity, and advanced beamforming and tracking techniques for communication with aircraft traveling in excess of 750 mph.
RF, meanwhile, brings an extensive portfolio of advanced antenna and RF systems technology, and will provide the belly-mounted multi-band antennas that will connect Gogo’s onboard 5G system with its ATG network. The antennas will incorporate complex multiband apertures and phased arrays.