We know that being connected above 30,000 feet isn’t actually a superpower, but it sure feels like one. But there’s a lot more than magic that goes into keeping you connected above the clouds, about which you probably have questions. So we queried our good friends at Gogo, the global leader at providing broadband connectivity solutions and wireless inflight entertainment to the aviation industry, about their Gogo inflight Wi-Fi solution. Let’s get to your questions.
Q: I’ve heard a lot about 2ku. What is it?
A: 2Ku is Gogo’s latest inflight technology. It offers speeds high enough to make streaming services possible to our customers on commercial aircraft. This technology offers a 2Ku flat-panel antenna with up to 2x more spectrally efficiency and with the smaller antenna, reduced drag—saving on fuel costs and providing peak speeds of 70 Mbps or more to the aircraft.
Q: What’s the expected rollout for Gogo next generation 2ku technology?
A: Gogo has more than 130 aircraft installed with 2Ku, and 12 carriers have signed up for the service, representing more than 1,500 aircraft with the majority expected to be installed by the end of 2018. By the end of 2017, 450 to 550 2Ku aircraft are expected to be online. By the end of 2018, 1,000 to 1,200 2Ku aircraft are expected to be online. Gogo will build operational capabilities to install 750 aircraft a year by 2017.
Q: How long does it take to 2Ku-enable an aircraft?
A: Gogo has seen 2Ku installation times as short as three days.
Q: Does Gogo expect to phase out older air-to-ground technology completely?
A: Today, Gogo has a global satellite network in the Ku band and a North American ground based network with coverage in the U.S. and Canada. Gogo does not plan to phase out ATG, because the network is ideal for business aviation aircraft, commercial regional jets and select narrow-body aircraft operating within the U.S. and Canada. Gogo announced plans for a second-generation ground network in North America to better serve the business and commercial aviation markets to be launched in 2018. It will deliver a ground-like experience, including the ability to stream video and capable of delivering peak speeds of more than 100Mbps to an aircraft.
Q: How about iPass’ pricing methodology. What kind of pricing do you offer enterprises for access to your terrestrial and inflight footprint?
A: iPass offers simple pricing of one flat fee, per user, per month. The price per user drops as the number of committed user licenses grows. And with our Unlimited Plus package, you get unrestricted access to our terrestrial and inflight footprint.
Q: Do you offer corporate options for iPass with Gogo’s inflight footprint versus just individual purchasing options?
A: iPass is the only provider of corporate Gogo packages. And as a solely corporate solution, we do not offer individual buyers purchase packages.