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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Need for Speed: Gogo's Speedy 2KU to Launch in Mexico

Woodrow Bellamy III 

[Avionics Today 08-26-2014] Aeromexico has been announced as the launch customer for Gogo's latest In-flight Connectivity (IFC) technology, 2Ku. According to Gogo, the Mexican airline will add 2Ku to at least 20 of its Boeing 737 passenger fleet.
 
 
Aeromexico Boeing 737. Photo: Boeing
 
First introduced in April 2014, 2Ku uses the same low-profile antennas as Gogo's Ground-to-Orbit (GTO) network. However, Gogo is promising faster speeds than the GTO network with 2Ku, which is scheduled to become available in mid-2015, delivering in-flight Wi-Fi connection speeds that rival what air passengers are used to on the ground at more than 70 Mbps.
 
Aeromexico's decision to go with the speedier 2Ku service on its 737s shows that the airline's operational team, like the passengers it serves, is craving faster service on longer routes. Honeywell, which is currently developing its own line of IFC solutions, recently published a survey showing nearly 90 percent of airline passengers in the United States, United Kingdom and Singapore would give up an amenity on their flight to have a faster and more consistent in-flight wireless connection.
 
The airline announced its first connected aircraft deal with Gogo in December 2013, agreeing on principle terms and conditions to add Gogo Vision to 75 of its passenger jets. The speed of 2Ku is a huge improvement over the average in-flight connection speeds that passengers are seeing on airlines today, at around 10 Mbps, which is the speed of the ATG-4 service that Gogo launched just last year.
 
"Aeromexico's commitment to 2Ku is evidence of the advantages that 2Ku brings to the market — especially for aircraft that operate in tropical regions around the world," said Gogo CEO Michael Small.
 
Both the Gogo Vision and the connectivity service will become available to Aeromexico passengers beginning in the fourth quarter of 2015. Gogo is also scheduled to start flight trials of the 2Ku service with Air Canada next year. The rest of the Aeromexico fleet will be equipped with the Gogo-Inmarsat SwiftBroadband service, according to a spokesperson for Gogo.
 

Aeromexico CEO Andres Conesa said the Mexican airline will be the first in the Latin American air transport industry to deliver in-flight Wi-Fi service via Gogo. "The decision to deploy 2Ku is a natural fit for many of our 737 aircraft and it assures that our passengers will have the latest technology available at launch," said Conesa. 

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