Gogo to launch 5G network for inflight connectivity in 2021

A Gogo Air to Ground inflight connectivity tower.
A Gogo Air to Ground inflight connectivity tower.

Gogo has announced its plans to build a 5G air-to-ground (ATG) network for aviation. The new ATG network will be designed for use on business aviation aircraft, commercial regional jets, and smaller mainline jets operating within the contiguous United States and Canada.

Gogo expects the network to be available for business and commercial aviation in 2021.

Oakleigh Thorne, CEO of Gogo, said: “We expect to launch Gogo 5G at the same time as the terrestrial telecommunications companies are deploying the same generation of technology on the ground – a first in the inflight connectivity industry.

“Gogo 5G is the next step in our technology evolution and is expected to deliver unparalleled user experience, pairing high performance with low latency and network-wide redundancy.”

The company will build the 5G network on its existing infrastructure of more than 250 towers and will use unlicensed spectrum in the 2.4GHz range, along with a proprietary modem and advanced beamforming technology.

Its 5G infrastructure will support all spectrum types (licensed, shared, unlicensed) and bands (mid, high, low), and will allow it to take advantage of new advances in technology as they are developed.

Similar to how wireless carriers provide redundancy across their networks, it will continue to employ its 3G and 4G networks throughout the continental U.S. and in Canada that will provide backup to the 5G network when needed.

When compared to satellite technologies, ground-based network technologies, in general, deliver certain operational advantages – specifically lower cost of operation and lower latency.

Gogo says it is committed to providing easy upgrade paths to 5G for existing air to ground customers.

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