Bringing the Internet
to rural places is one thing, but bringing it to every corner of the sky? That's a goal that we can also get behind. Gogo
has delivered Wi-Fi to huge amounts of aircraft crisscrossing America. But, to truly dominate, you need the whole world looking your way. Thus, the company has partnered with satellite equipment provider, AeroSat, to bring a Ku-satellite solution to commercial airlines. A Ku-satellite solution will allow Gogo to offer airlines connectivity services that extend beyond the United States, including transoceanic routes. The company also notes that an arrangement is in place to "serve the needs of some of our airlines partners in the near-term until Inmarsat's Global Xpress Ka-satellite service becomes available."
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.
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, and it expects to offer Global Xpress Ka-satellite service after the launch of all three I-5 satellites starting in late 2014 or early 2015. For whatever reason, Wi-Fi in the sky still feels like the future, and surely this is the next wave. The Jetsons would be so proud.