Gogo To Start Using Satellites For In-Flight WiFi, Faster Downloads

Gogo In-Flight WiFi

Gogo is about to massively improve its in-flight Wi-Fi.

The company is going to implement a satellite system that will allow for much faster downloading of data while paving the way to better in-flight entertainment.

The company announced that it has received Federal Aviation Administration certification to launch its new “2Ku” service.

Aeroméxico and Virgin Atlantic have already signed up to install the new service within the next few weeks. Five more airlines will receive the same technology by 2017.

Delta Airlines is Gogo’s biggest customer in the second phase. The commercial airline has committed 250 aircraft to the service.

“We are extremely excited by the progress we’ve made in bringing this technology to market,” said Anand Chari, Gogo’s chief technology officer.

Currently, Gogo delivers Wi-Fi using an air-to-ground, cell tower-based system. The new service utilizes two low-profile antennas, one for downloading and one for uploading, resulting in a greater bandwidth.

“Rather than physically pointing toward the target satellite, these antennas create a beam in the desired direction by mechanically rotating a series of internal plates,” Gogo explained on its website.

The antennae’s being used by the company are two times more efficient than current technology.

Airlines will likely jump at the opportunity to provide customers with better internet. Airline companies currently pay large fees for in-flight entertainment licenses.

If WiFi becomes a regular part of most customers experiences, airlines could lower their own offerings or ditch in-flight entertainment all together in place of WiFi.