Gogo announces three key partners for its 5G inflight WiFi solution

Major inflight WiFi provider Gogo has announced three key partners who will work together to develop and deploy a true5 5G solution for aviation. US-based Cisco, FIRST RF and Airspan Networks will work alongside Gogo to take inflight connectivity to the next level.

Gogo 5g
Gogo has revealed three key partners for its forthcoming 5G network. Photo: Gogo

Sergio Aguirre, president of Gogo Business Aviation, commented in a press release,

“When we announced we were going to build a 5G network for aviation, we stated that we would leverage the expertise of U.S.-based companies to help us bring it to life. The three partners we’re announcing today are on the leading edge of wireless network technology and together we will bring the most capable network and systems in aviation.”

Gogo is focused on creating a holistic 5G solution for aviation. As such, every part of the system needs to be 5G compatible, from the antennas to the software and everything in between. These three new partners together have the capability to create an elegant product that ticks all the boxes.

Gogo’s 5G network

The 5G network under development by Gogo is reliant on air-to-ground (ATG) communication. While other provides and international airlines are grappling with space-based broadband delivery, Gogo’s network is regarded as a fairly robust product for regional jets and business aircraft operating within mainland North America.

Gogo is building its 5G network through the existing infrastructure it has in place. With more than 250 towers across North America, the company has a solid base from which to start. The spectrum in use will be in the 2.4GHz range and will be supported by a bespoke Gogo modem and advanced beamforming tech.

Gogo towers
Gogo already has more than 250 towers in place across continental US and Canada. Photo: Gogo

Although 5G is seen as emerging technology right now, by the estimated launch date of 2021 for this network, 5G capable devices will be far more common. Gogo has assured its customers that it will continue to support 3G and 4G networks throughout the continental US and Canada as a backup to the forthcoming 5G services.

What do the partners bring to the table?

Cisco is a well-known name in the world of IT, and it’s unsurprising that Gogo has chosen to link up with this granddaddy of connectivity for its 5G project. Specifically, Gogo says that Cisco will bring its expertise in cloud-to-client approaches, developing a robust architecture for the 5G network that will make it easier to deploy and manage.

Airspan is a specialist in 4G and 5G densification, and its Air5G platform will be a superb complement to Gogo’s 5G system. Air5G not only uses Massive MIMO antenna arrays for much-increased capacity, but it also has advanced beamforming capabilities allowing it to actively track aircraft moving in excess of 750 miles per hour.

Airspan
Airspan is a specialist in densification. Photo: Airspan

First RF is an antenna specialist with a huge portfolio of advanced RF technologies. It will provide belly-mounted antennas to connect to Gogo 5G on the ground using beamforming technologies and phased arrays.

Overall, Gogo’s 5G network is looking promising for airlines operating in the contiguous United States and Canada. Its lower cost of operation and lower latency should make it a top choice for both commercial and business aviation customers.

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