Gogo is partnering with Intelsat to use the first shared GEO/LEO satellite network for inflight connectivity.
Under a long-term agreement, Gogo’s next-generation in-flight connectivity technology will be powered by a high-performance shared network featuring multi-layered Ku-band capacity on Intelsat’s EpicNG high-throughput (HTS) geosynchronous (GEO) satellites, combined with OneWeb’s planned low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation.
OneWeb’s constellation will enable broadband connectivity in the polar-regions and at high latitudes and will also have low latency because the satellites are much closer to earth.
By combining LEO and GEO Ku-band satellites Gogo says its 2Ku solution will be capable of delivering “hundreds of Mbps per aircraft on every part of the globe”.
The Gogo 2Ku airborne terminal is designed to be compatible with multiple networks, including both the Intelsat EpicNG and OneWeb satellite constellations.
Gogo says this flexibility ensures a long-term technology solution that provides immediate benefits “as well as a path to future network evolutions well into the next decade”.
Beginning in 2016, Gogo will expand its use of the Intelsat Globalised Network by purchasing additional capacity on Intelsat’s Ku-band infrastructure, with 50 satellites covering 99 percent of the world’s populated regions.
Gogo’s Intelsat network infrastructure will initially include use of traditional wide-beam services and the next-generation high-throughput satellite (HTS) Intelsat EpicNG platform, which is expected to enter service in 2016.
Coverage will include HTS for the North Atlantic, Europe, Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Ocean provided by Intelsat 32e, Intelsat 33e and Horizons 3e.
And in 2019, Gogo’s 2Ku system will begin to access the world’s first GEO/LEO shared network, an evolving service architecture.
When the network is fully deployed, Gogo’s 2Ku systems will be able to dynamically route traffic across the fully-global 10 Tbps shared network based on coverage, latency, throughput and other performance criteria.
Gogo’s customers will benefit from the continuous planned upgrades of the shared network, including up to 250 Mbps per aircraft on the Intelsat EpicNG fleet.
One Web’s Low Earth Orbit satellites are expected to be the first satellites to enable high-performance services at high latitudes and on polar flights.
Gogo’s president and chief executive officer, Michael Small, said: “Gogo’s open strategy gives us the ability to look to the entire satellite market for innovation, and Intelsat’s EpicNG satellites combined with OneWeb’s LEO constellation offers numerous advantages for aviation.
“Gogo continues to invest in open platforms that leverage the best connectivity technologies for aviation, because single technology, closed systems will not survive the test of time.”
Stephen Spengler, Intelsat’s Chief Executive Officer, added: “Gogo’s leading in-flight broadband service represents exactly the type of application for which our Globalized Network and Intelsat EpicNG platform are targeted – global, high performance and with a business model that will flourish with the right economics.
“Our goal in creating the Intelsat/OneWeb shared network is to bring together the best solutions to support customer growth today while at the same time providing a future-proof path to an ever-improving global satellite infrastructure.”