Gogo Delays 5G Upgrade to 2022, Citing Chip Supply Issue

 - March 12, 2021, 8:30 AM

Business aviation connectivity provider Gogo is delaying deployment of its 5G air-to-ground (ATG) network by about six months, to 2022, due to a microchip shortage, company president and CEO Oakleigh Thorne said yesterday during an investor conference call. The upgrade will replace the 3G/4G architecture currently used in its ATG network and increase connectivity speeds to more than 50 Mbps.

“As is true of many projects in the telecom and satellite space, our schedule has slipped, primarily because of a supply chain delay for one particular microchip,” he said. “And we now expect to deploy the network in 2022 instead of 2021.”

The good news, Thorne said, is that customers with Avance systems installed on their aircraft—a number that now exceeds 1,700—will be able to take advantage of the 5G network with a software update and minor hardware upgrades. Speaking of software upgrades, he said Gogo plans to enable on-air software updates this year, “saving customers time and money when installing new releases.”

According to Thorne, Gogo’s Avance L3 and L5 systems installed on a range of business aircraft are also able to run self-diagnostics "and it reports them remotely, allowing us to often fix issues before the customer even notices an issue has occurred. And it does much more, and we'll talk about that more in the future.”