Gogo completes 150-tower upgrade for 5G in-flight connectivity network

“Our team was tenacious and overcame a host of issues, including Covid-19, weather, supply chain and geopolitical concerns, to build a new network of 150 towers nationwide – and they have done in less than 12 months.” – Gogo Business Aviation COO Sergio Aguirre

ORLANDO, Florida. Gogo Business Aviation has completed the deployment of the 150 towers that enable its next-generation 5G Inflight Connectivity (IFC) network. The Denver, Colorado-based connectivity service provider confirmed the completion of the new network on Monday, with a live stream of the last tower installed for the network in Oregon during an event at the 2022 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Business Aviation Convention & Exposition (BACE).

The newly deployed network now has IFC coverage for the contiguous United States, and Gogo plans to expand it to business aviation operators flying in Canadian airspace next year. Gogo has been flight testing 5G antennas, modems, SIM cards and other equipment on the network since June 2021.

Sergio Aguirre, COO of Gogo Business Aviation, commenting on the completion of the network, said the company “overcame a host of issues, including Covid-19, weather, supply chain and geopolitical concerns, to build a new network of 150 towers nationwide – and they did it in less than 12 months.”

Gogo 5G coverage map

Each of the 150 towers that enable Gogo’s 5G network is part of its existing 3G/4G network of 250 towers. The 5G network uses unlicensed spectrum in the 2.4 GHz band.

Further updates provided by Gogo at the end of the network rollout focused on the status of the 5G aircraft technologies they have developed. MB13 5G Belly Mounted Antennas and Gogo’s X3 Computer have both achieved “first article” Supplemental Type Certification (STC). The company has not released what type of aircraft these STCs were filled for.

There are plans to change this STC once the 5G chip that Gogo is waiting for becomes available. In August, Gogo CEO Oakleigh Thorne said on his second-quarter earnings call that a new problem emerged during last-minute testing of the chip developed by Airspan for the X3 system.

Above is an image of the last of 150 towers updated with 5G antennas for Gogo’s next-gen IFC network. (Photo: Gogo Business Aviation)

Development of this chip is expected to be completed by mid-2023, according to Gogo’s latest statement released on its status and performance.

Gogo has already reported average connection speeds of up to 25 Mbps in flight tests of the existing network.


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