Gogo sees strong future with 100Mbps speeds by 2017

Gogo logoGogo President and CEO Michael Small was bullish at its investor day on Thursday September 29, promising its 2Ku inflight connectivity system will delver 100Mbps by late 2017.

“When Gogo was founded in 1991 it was delivering analogue phone calls to business aircraft,” Small said. “But by 2016 we are now about connecting aircraft globally.”

Small said the pace of innovation is amazing and what is being achieved now was entirely unimaginable back in 1991.

He said that there are now up to 10,000 commercial aircraft worldwide installed with, or committed, to broadband inflight connectivity, but that will be up to 30,000 in a the next decade.

“There are also 4,200 business aircraft currently equipped, but the potential in that sector is even greater with up to 37,000 potential connected business aircraft by 2025,” Small said.

Middle East and AsiaPac

Gogo President and CEO Michael Small.
Gogo President and CEO Michael Small.

Small added that Gogo sees the greatest future demand in the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions.

Gogo’s 2Ku solution has now been specified for 850 aircraft this year alone, bringing the total backlog to 1300 aircraft.

Small said that there are now 14 aircraft on four airlines flying with 2Ku.

Anand Chari, Gogo’s Chief Technology Officer, said 2Ku can currently deliver up to 50Mbps to the aircraft, but that will increase to 70Mbps in early 2017, with the launch of its next-gen modem technology.

100Mbps with Gogo 2Ku

“But by late 2017, with the introduction of high-throughput Ku-band satellites (HTS) that speed will increase to 100Mbps,” Chari said.

“The beauty is that airlines can take advantage of the speed hike from 70 to 100Mbps without any hardware changes.”

Intelsat has already launched its first EpicNG HTS satellite – Intelsat 29e – and more are in the pipeline.

John Wade, Gogo’s Executive Vice President and COO
John Wade, Gogo’s Executive Vice President and COO.

Chari said: “By 2020 there will around 370Gbps of Ku-band capacity over the US and we estimate demand will be round 70Gbps across 4,000 aircraft, so there will be plenty of capacity.”

He also said that, as announced yesterday, its North American air-to-ground service will also get a speed boost too.

John Wade, Gogo Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, added: “If you are a business aircraft operator in the US we have a system for you. We already have customers who are committed to our next-gen 4G system as soon as it is launched.

“As we move into smaller aircraft, customers are saying ‘I get it – I see now why we need broadband’,” he said.

Michael Small concluded by saying: “Overall, we have enough aircraft and continue to win more. Ultimately, every passenger on the plane will be connected and the only question will be as to how much bandwidth we need for each passenger.”

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