How the GoGo in-flight Wi-Fi system works

Gogo Inc is a supplier of inflight Internet service and connectivity services for commercial and business aircraft. The headquarter is situated in Itasca, Illinois. Gogo has fitted out over 2000 commercial and 6000 business aircraft with their services making them the world leader of inflight connectivity and the primary initiator of inflight entertainment.

Current technologies in use:

Air-To-Ground (ATG) The ATG network is a cellular based network that has more than hundred towers in U.S., Alaska and Canada. The towers are cellphone towers that have been outfitted to point their signals at the sky instead along the ground. The aircraft gets the signal through a receiver installed on its underside. When it reaches the airplane, the data signal is distributed throughout the cabin through a Wi-Fi system.

ATG-4 Gogo’s ATG-4 service improves aircraft capacity through the addition of a Directional Antenna, Dual Modem and EV-DO Rev. This new platform is back-compatible and secures upgrades to existing ATG systems with low-cost retrofits. ATG-4 is expected to enhance Gogo’s existing ATG network and deliver peak speeds from current performances of up to 3.1 Mbit to up to 9.8 Mbit for each aircraft.

Ka-band satellite Gogo was named a service provider for Inmarsat’s Global Xpress satellite service in November, 2011. Inmarsat also selected Gogo’s business aviation subsidiary, Aircell as a distribution partner for the business and government aviation markets.
Global_Xpress - k

Ku-band satellite Gogo has satellite agreements in place with SES (for coverage over the U.S., Atlantic Ocean and Europe) and Intelsat (for coverage over portions of the Atlantic and northern Pacific oceans, as well as routes over South America, Asia, Africa and Australia). Gogo has also signed an agreement with Intelsat for Ku band satellite capacity specifically for coverage in the Atlantic and northern Pacific oceans, as well as routes over Central and South America, Asia, Australia and parts of Africa. Gogo announced in May 2012, that it will partner 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, and will serve the needs of some of their airline partners in the near-term until Inmarsat’s Global Xpress Ka band-satellite becomes available.

Gogo Ground to Orbit Gogo’s newest service is a proprietary hybrid technology that combines the best aspects of existing satellite technologies with Gogo’s Air to Ground network. This technology uses satellite for receive only and Gogo’s Air to Ground network for the return link to the ground. Gogo GTO offers peak speeds of 60 Mbit/s or more to aircraft flying throughout North America and will be available in 2014. This new service is expected to increase speeds by more than six times the current performance.Virgin America will be the launch partner of the new service.

Technology for business aviation For the Business/corporate aviation market, Aircell, a Gogo company, offers three different inflight technologies: Iridium Satellite, Inmarsat SwiftBroadband (satellite) and Gogo Biz (ATG and ATG-4).

Sources: GogoInmarsatWikipedia

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