Gogo close to landing first 2Ku customer in Middle East

Niels Streenstrup, Gogo’s senior vice president international.
Niels Streenstrup, Gogo’s senior vice president international.

At the 2017 Dubai Airshow, Gogo was upbeat about its inflight connectivity business and said it was close to signing its first 2Ku customer in the Middle East.

Niels Streenstrup, Gogo’s senior vice president international, said it now has flights fitted with its 2Ku system flying into the Middle East on a daily basis.

“We’re either already on, or due to be fitted to, B747s, B777s and 787s on flights into the region with British Airways, Air Canada and Virgin Atlantic,” he said.

“We’re currently delivering up to 100Mbps to the aircraft and 2Ku is going to get even faster – our new modem can support up to 400Mbps.”

Gogo’s recent third quarter 2017 financial results showed that its 2Ku awards now exceed 1,900 aircraft across 14 airlines, with the inflight connectivity system currently installed on more than 400 of them.

Gogo's "2Ku" dual Ku-band antenna.
Gogo’s “2Ku” dual Ku-band antenna.

As of October 31 2017, Gogo says that it had installed 322 systems in 2017 alone.

“A new aircraft is being connected with Gogo 2Ku every eight hours,” Streenstrup said.

“Many people judge inflight connectivity systems on connection speed alone, but it is about so much more than that. You need to have coverage and reliability too.

“Gogo’s mantra is 15/98/98 – 15 Mbps to each passenger device, covering 98 percent of all flight hours around the world with 98 percent system availability,” said Streenstrup.

The second 98 —denotes the percentage of coverage per global flight hour. In other words, Gogo says 2Ku ensures virtually non-stop inflight internet connectivity across the entire globe. The only area not covered is over the North and South Poles – where no broadband inflight internet service has coverage.

This is factored into the current 98 percent coverage performance. But, as new satellite technologies come online in the next few years – like low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites – Gogo says it expects to close this coverage gap and move 98 percent to 100 percent.

The company has now installed the technology on many major fleet types including the Airbus A319, A321, A330 and A340 aircraft; and Boeing’s 737-800 and 747-400.

Last month Gogo said it would have approximately 600 total 2Ku aircraft online across 10 airlines by the end of this year.

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