Air-to-ground in-flight connectivity provider Gogo has partnered with satellite equipment provider, AeroSat, to bring a Ku-satellite system to commercial airlines.
The system will allow Gogo to offer airlines connectivity services that extend beyond the United States, including transoceanic routes, and said it will serve the needs of some of its airlines partners in the near-term until Inmarsat’s Global Xpress Ka-satellite service becomes available in 2014.
“As a company, Gogo has always considered itself technology neutral. Our goal is to provide the right technology to meet the connectivity needs of any aircraft size and any aircraft mission,” said Gogo’s president and CEO Michael Small. “By adding a Ku-based offering, we will be qualified to offer our airline partners a wide range of technology solutions. Whether it’s by using our exclusive air to ground and ATG-4 technologies, Ku-satellite or, in the near future, Inmarsat’s Global Xpress Ka-satellite technologies, we expect to be able to service all aircraft.”
AeroSat will deliver the Ku-satellite antenna, radome, antenna control and modem unit and high power transceiver to Gogo. The AeroSat equipment will be coupled with Gogo’s onboard hardware and software (server and access points) to deliver a complete solution to the airlines. The components have already been developed and are currently going through the airworthiness qualification and certification process. Gogo expects to be able to install the Ku-systems on commercial aircraft as soon as the fourth quarter of 2012.
“Ku is the here and now satellite technology and will allow us to service airline clients who want an overseas solution today,” added Small. “However, in many cases we see this as a bridge technology that will allow us to offer overseas service until Inmarsat’s Global Xpress Ka satellite service is available.”
“AeroSat has been a proven leader in the development of aviation communications solutions for more than a decade and we are delighted to work with Gogo on addressing their equipment needs as they bring a Ku-satellite solution to market,” said AeroSat CEO, Dennis Ferguson. “AeroSat now has developed antenna systems for more than 380 corporate and commercial aircraft operating in every region of the world using multiple commercial satellites.”
Gogo also recently announced that it will be one of two global service providers of Inmarsat’s Global Xpress Ka-satellite service. Working with Inmarsat, Gogo expects to begin testing of the Global Xpress Ka-aeronautical services after the launch of the first of the three Inmarsat-5 satellites, which is scheduled for mid-2013. Gogo expects to offer Global Xpress Ka-satellite service after the launch of all three I-5 satellites starting in late 2014 or early 2015.