We hear a lot about 5G and how it will deliver this or that – but one of the interesting announcements is that Gogo will be using 5G to deliver Air-To-Ground connectivity.
The Gogo 5G Air-To-Ground (ATG ) network will target business aviation aircraft, commercial regional jets and smaller mainline jets operating within the contiguous United States and Canada.
The new network is expected to be made available in 2021
The 5G network will be built on its existing infrastructure of more than 250 towers and will use unlicensed spectrum in the 2.4GHz range. These will connect using a proprietary modem and advanced beamforming technology. T
Gogo’s 5G infrastructure will support all spectrum types (licensed, shared, unlicensed) and bands (mid, high, low), and will allow Gogo to take advantage of new advances in technology as they are developed. Redundancy and fallback onto 3G and 4G networks will be in place.
Gogo state that
When compared to satellite technologies, ground-based network technologies in general deliver certain operational advantages – specifically lower cost of operation and lower latency. Gogo is committed to provide easy upgrade paths to 5G for existing Gogo air-to-ground customers.
No launch customer has been identified as of yet.
Oakleigh Thorne, CEO of Gogo states
“We expect to launch Gogo 5G at the same time as the terrestrial telecommunications companies are deploying the same generation of technology on the ground – a first in the inflight connectivity industry,”
“Gogo 5G is the next step in our technology evolution and is expected to deliver an unparalleled user experience, pairing high performance with low latency and network-wide redundancy.”
The next steps for Air-To-Ground
ATG has been around for some time – and launched Gogo into the connectivity systems some years ago. However, there has been a move away from ATG to satellite based systems (either a Ku, Gogo 2Ku or Ka based connectivity.
Whilst ATG in the past has been slow (even with its upgrade to ATG4), 5G can offer some interesting possibilities in the smaller cabins that Gogo is targeting where installing a satellite antenna may be expensive for the missions that plane may fly.
With the consumer and business demand for connectivity in the air ever growing, it’ll be interesting to see how many many airlines take this up
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