Onboard connectivity provider Gogo Business Aviation (Chalet R81) is showcasing at the Singapore Airshow its 2Ku connectivity products and services, which offer commercial carriers and VIP aircraft operators global high-speed broadband that supports home/office Wi-Fi applications including live streaming, video conferencing, and social media. Gogo’s 2Ku systems are installed on more than 1,250 aircraft operated by 14 airlines, with an installation backlog of some 850 aircraft, according to the company. Its 2Ku hardware features a proprietary dual-antenna design, ensuring system redundancy.
Gogo arrives in Singapore on the heels of receiving the Best Digital Solution Award at Shanghai’s Airline Summit in October, and CEO Oakleigh Thorne said the U.S. firm is “excited for the potential we have to bring Gogo 2Ku to the Chinese market, as well as other markets in the Asia Pacific region."
The month after the Airline Summit, Qatar Airways chose Gogo’s 2Ku-band system and live TV for installation on its 70 Boeing 787-9, 787-8 and Airbus A380 airliners, which will wirelessly connect to passenger devices as well as seatback screens. The service is expected to go live this year.
Gogo’s 2Ku systems are also flying on at least half a dozen head-of-state Airbus and Boeing airliners, the first installed in 2017, and there is “a very exciting pipeline of potential ultra-high-net-worth individuals and head-of-state operators considering the product,” said Dave Mellin, the company’s director of public relations and communications.
Ka-band connectivity solutions have gotten more attention than Ku-band offerings, but for operators comparing them, “A major difference…is that we leverage an open architecture,” said Mellin. “As a result, if we need more capacity, we don’t have to spend billions of dollars to build and launch a new satellite. We simply grow our existing agreements with our satellite providers.”
Also on display is Gogo Vision, a wireless, on-demand in-flight entertainment and information service that serves up first-run Hollywood movies, top TV programs, news, weather and more, available in several languages, delivered without streaming costs.
“All the content is stored on the onboard server and is updated wirelessly on a monthly basis to ensure the latest entertainment options are available,” said Mellin.
Gogo is also a global value-added manufacturer and reseller of Iridium Certus L-band service and is expanding its L-band connectivity offerings. Powered by Iridium’s new Next satellite constellation, Certus will provide “a global service capable of fitting on virtually any jet worldwide” and “offer twice the speed of comparable systems,” Mellin said.
For those who travel over North America, Gogo offers Avance L5 and L3 connectivity products, which use its own high-speed air-to-ground (ATG) network, and can be installed on airframes from light business jets up.