APEX2015: Japan Transocean Air selects Gogo 2Ku system

Gogo's "2Ku" dual Ku-band antenna promises up to 70mbps downlinks.
Gogo’s “2Ku” dual Ku-band antenna promises up to 70mbps downlinks.

Gogo has announced that Japan Transocean Air (JTA) has become the latest airline to select its 2Ku next-generation connectivity solution.

The 2Ku antenna and system will be fitted to JTA’s new 737-800 aircraft. Passengers on these aircraft will also receive Gogo’s wireless in-flight entertainment service – Gogo Vision.

Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO, said: “We are excited to partner with JTA to bring what we believe will be the best performing connectivity solution for global aviation to its aircraft.

“Eight commercial airlines around the world have agreed to deploy 2Ku on more than 550 aircraft. This is over half of the aircraft committed in the industry since we announced 2Ku. The adoption rate is unprecedented and clearly demonstrates that airlines realise the benefits of 2Ku and partnering with Gogo.”

Gogo launched 2Ku at the 2014 Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.

Gogo says it is now several weeks into the 2Ku flight testing and the tests completed to date have exceeded expectations. It says the flight tests have demonstrated that 2Ku can “deliver more bandwidth at less cost than gimbaled [manually steerable] satellite antennas used on aircraft today”.

It claims 2Ku is capable of matching or exceeding the bandwidth of any other system currently offered, including regional Ka-band solutions, while benefiting from the global coverage, resiliency and certainty of supply provided by the more than 100 satellites in the Ku-band.

Gogo argues that in contrast, systems based in the Ka-band are only able to access a few satellites. It adds that recent flight tests demonstrated that 2Ku’s proprietary antenna design “delivers at least twice the performance of any gimbaled antennas currently on the market”, regardless of spectrum band, and solves the “skew angle” problem that plagues current generation systems when aircraft are flying in tropical regions.

The recent 2 Ku testing included concurrent streaming video use on multiple devices and everything from web browsing to VPN access.

Gogo says 2Ku is also an excellent solution for delivering live television programming via IPTV. Gogo expects to launch its Gogo TV service in 2016.

While 2Ku system testing continues, Gogo is making rapid progress towards the commercial launch scheduled for later this year. Initial installations are complete at Aeromexico and in progress at Virgin Atlantic.

Beginning in early 2016, Gogo says installations are expected to ramp up on other airline partners, including Air Canada, Delta, GOL and United.

During 2016, Gogo anticipates completing retrofit installations on fleet types that include the Airbus 320, 330 and 340 families and the Boeing 737, 747 and 757 families and, while it continues to advance its line fit programs with airline manufacturers for future new-delivery aircraft.

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