Onboard connectivity services specialist Gogo Business Aviation is highlighting at MEBAA 2018 its 2Ku high-speed broadband service for VIP airliners, introduced last year, and its forthcoming Iridium Certus L-Band offering, which will provide broadband services for smaller-cabin aircraft.
Gogo’s 2Ku connectivity production for head-of-state Airbus and Boeing airliners debuted in mid-2017 aboard an ACJ319 operated by Germany’s K5 Aviation, with the installation performed by Fokker Services. Since then half a dozen additional VIP aircraft have been outfitted, and Gogo (Stand 528) has “a very exciting pipeline of potential ultra-high-net-worth individuals and head-of-state operators considering the product,” said Dave Mellin, the company’s director of public relations and communications.
As a major base of VIP airliner ownership and operations, the Middle East is a prime market for the company’s connectivity services.
2Ku uses a proprietary dual-antenna system that delivers high-speed broadband connectivity via Iridium’s Ku-Band network, which has more than 180 satellites, ensuring global coverage and system redundancy, according to Gogo. It supports live streaming of news, entertainment, video, and video conferencing.
For operators comparing Ku-band and Ka-band solutions, “A major difference…is that we leverage an open architecture,” said Mellin. “As a result, if we need more capacity, we don’t have to spend billions of dollars to build and launch a new satellite. We simply grow our existing agreements with our satellite providers.”
Already established in the commercial market, more than 170 2Ku systems are installed on aircraft operated by eight airlines, with current orders for more than 1,400 additional installations that will include aircraft from half a dozen additional carriers.
At MEBAA, Gogo is also highlighting its worldwide roadmap for connectivity as Ku becomes available for airframes “provided by the likes of Bombardier, Dassault Falcon Jet, Embraer, and Gulfstream,” said Mellin, providing “a faster service, at a lower cost than the competition.”
Gogo is also expanding its L-band connectivity offering, as a global value-added manufacturer and reseller of Iridium Certus L-band service. Certus, powered by Iridium’s new Next satellite constellation, will provide “a global service capable of fitting on virtually any jet worldwide” and “offer twice the speed of comparable systems,” Mellin said.
Also on display is Gogo Vision, a wireless, on-demand in-flight entertainment and information service that features first-run Hollywood movies, top TV programs, news, weather and more, available in several languages and all delivered without streaming costs. “All the content is stored on the onboard server and is updated wirelessly on a monthly basis to ensure the latest entertainment options are available,” said Mellin.
For those who travel over North America, Gogo is also showcasing its Avance L5 and L3 connectivity products, which use its high-speed Air-to-Ground (ATG) network.