Gogo to boost Ku-band capacity with Hispasat

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Gogo has signed an agreement with Hispasat that will tackle the increasing problem of capacity demand in the North American and North Atlantic market. The agreement will allow Gogo to leverage capacity on the Amazonas Nexus satellite, bringing more bandwidth to these high traffic areas.

Amazonas Nexus
Amazonas Nexus will launch in 2022. Photo: Hispasat

What are the details?

Leading provider of inflight connectivity, Gogo, has leased multiple gigahertz of Ku-band capacity on the new Hispasat Amazonas Nexus. Set to launch in the latter half of 2022, Amazonas Nexus will provide much-needed capacity in some of the busiest markets in the world – North America and the North Atlantic tracks.

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The extra capacity will help Gogo provide a more efficient service in some of the world’s busiest markets. Photo: Gogo

Gogo has been working alongside Hispasat to develop the design of the satellite to suit its needs. In particular, this has included the development of a payload specifically dedicated to inflight WiFi. As part of this next-generation satellite’s infrastructure, it will include an advanced Digital Transparent Processor, which Gogo says will “substantially increase satellite flexibility when dealing with changes in demand.”

Oakleigh Thorne, President and CEO of Gogo, commented on the development, saying,

“Amazonas Nexus will significantly enhance our Ku network over the Americas and the Atlantic region, providing Gogo with scaled capacity at the right economics. Through our partnership with Hispasat, Gogo 2Ku will continue to meet the growing demand for high-speed inflight connectivity.”

This is Gogo’s second recent capacity purchase, since it also signed up for allocation on the Eutelsat 10B satellite. Both are slated for launch in 2022.

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Hispasat’s Amazonas Nexus

Hispasat is the satellite operator for the Red Eléctrica de España Group. It operates a number of Spanish communication satellites that cover the Americas, as well as North Africa and Europe. Since its inception in 1989, Hispasat has launched 15 satellites, two of which have reached the end of their lifespan.

Of the remaining 13 satellites, most utilize the Ku-band with some capacity in the X-band and C-band also. Its original satellites were all for digital TV and radio as well as government/military comms. The Amazonas satellites were inaugurated in 2004, with five launched and operational so far. These satellites have a focus on civil communications, including inflight connectivity.

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Amazonas Nexus will replace Amazonas 2 in the 61º West position. Photo: Hispasat

Amazonas Nexus is a planned HTPS GEO satellite, which will cover the entirety of the Americas as well as the North Atlantic. Hispasat signed up with Thales Alenia Space to build Amazonas Nexus just weeks ago. The planned satellite will use all-electric propulsion and will weigh in at 4,500kg. Miguel Ángel Panduro, CEO of Hispasat, commented on the partnership with Gogo saying,

“We are excited to support Gogo in providing the best service for its global airline partners. This partnership demonstrates the important role Hispasat will play in providing capacity for aerial services. The inflight connectivity market is a growing segment for satellite capacity, and this is one of the foundational elements for Hispasat’s future growth.”

While Gogo’s partnership will come as welcome news for airlines seeking a more stable and reliable service, with the launch of Amazonas Nexus not scheduled to take place until 2022, there will be something of a wait to endure yet.

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