In the ten years since we launched Gogo Wi-Fi for commercial aviation, we’ve continuously worked to develop new products and services for our airline customers as well as end users of our in-flight services.
Some of these developments work in the background to improve usability of existing technology, while others are major developments on new products and services.
At any given moment, a large portion of the 1200 employees here at Gogo are working on these new projects. In this article we’ll take a closer look at some of the development work taking place and how they will help improve the passenger experience.
Next-generation air-to-ground network: Gogo ATG-NG
In 2008, the first plane took off with our Wi-Fi service on-board, powered by our first generation air-to-ground network. Since then, we have served millions of passengers with over 140 million in-flight sessions.
For many of our airline customers, upgrading to our 2Ku satellite technology has been the optimal replacement, but there are still plenty of aircraft flying that are too small to allow for the installation of the equipment required for satellite internet. For these aircraft, having access to our air to ground network has been a perfect solution, since the total system is incredibly lightweight and is powered through very small antennas.
In 2016, we announced the largest modernization of our domestic network in years with the Gogo Next Generation air to ground network (Gogo ATG-NG). This new network will use the unlicensed ISM band spectrum, a proprietary modem and a new beam-forming antenna to produce peak network speeds of more than 100 Mbps.
Gogo ATG-NG will utilize LTE technology and leverage our existing first generation North American network and infrastructure of more than 250 towers. This combination of ATG-4 and ATG-NG networks will create a connectivity solution with unprecedented coverage, reliability and capacity. The first ten tower upgrades are already in place, and we expect commercial launch by the end of the year.
2Ku new modem and HTS satellites
Most of our readers will be well aware of our 2Ku technology or may have already used it on one of our partner airlines. The dual antenna satellite Wi-Fi system has been flying since 2016 and is now installed on well over 600 aircraft. Already, 17 airlines have committed to installing the system, making it one of the most popular and fastest selling IFC solutions ever introduced to the commercial aviation market.
As with all of our technology, we are constantly working on enhancements and have continued to develop new upgrades for 2Ku. We started the first of these upgrades last year with a new satellite modem. The modem boosts our in-flight speeds to as much as 100Mbps and enables a variety of new services to be built on top of the existing system, one of which is listed below.
The new modem is also able to take advantage of the latest generation high-throughput satellites (HTS) which deliver unprecedented amounts of bandwidth and enhanced coverage to the Ku band market.
In addition to an extensive library of streaming movies and TV shows, Gogo now also offers live television on select airlines. With Gogo TV, television channels are streamed directly to passengers personal devices or even to the backseat screen all without the need for plugins or other downloads.
The ability to receive Gogo TV is another feature of the latest upgrades to 2Ku, which enabled our unique dual antenna system to connect to the Internet as well as our live television infrastructure. Because our satellite network uses international teleports, we’re able to ingest local programming so we can offer passengers their favorite programming in their own language.
Gogo Vision Touch
Since its launch in 2012, Gogo Vision has quickly become the most popular wireless streaming entertainment system. The technology powers the wireless entertainment system on many of the world’s largest airlines. Thanks to our experience in developing this platform, we’re now building the next generation by integrating it into seatback screens.
Gogo Vision Touch reimagines the way airline passengers will interact with their seatback entertainment. This new system extends our expertise with Gogo Vision into a seatback tablet. This system allows passengers to use a connected tablet to watch on-demand movies and TV, listen to music, or even access the internet to stream their personal collection of ground-based content. Because the system is built with connectivity at its heart, the software can deliver a state-of-the-art personalized experience to passengers.