[SatNews] Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO) has announced the next step in its technology roadmap for global connectivity—2Ku.
Gogo expects this new technology to outperform other global connectivity solutions currently available in the market. Japan Airlines is expected to be among the first to trial this advanced technology. This new technology will use the same low-profile antennas as Gogo's Ground to Orbit (GTO) technology, which will be deployed for aircraft flying in North America; however, instead of using Gogo's Air to Ground solution for the return link to the ground, 2Ku will have two low-profile, high efficiency Ku-band satellite antennas. The new technology will deliver peak speeds to the aircraft of more than 70 Mbps.
"Gogo has proven time and again that it's the leader in developing and operating new technologies for the aero market. 2Ku is the next step in our technological evolution and is a ground breaking new technology for the global commercial aviation market," said Gogo's president and CEO, Michael Small. "When we launched our in-flight Internet service five years ago, we were able to deliver peak speeds to the aircraft of 3.1 Mbps through our ATG network. About a year ago, we began deployment of our next generation ATG-4 service, which took peak speeds to 9.8 Mbps. Our GTO solution takes the peak speed to 70 Mbps in the U.S. and 2Ku brings 70 Mbps to the rest of the world."
The advantages of the 2Ku antenna are significant. The antenna is approximately two times more spectrally efficient than other antennas in the commercial aviation market, which means it will produce more bandwidth at less cost. The spectral efficiency also makes it the most TV friendly solution in the market. The antenna itself is only 4.5 inches tall, which reduces drag on the aircraft compared to other satellite solutions. 2Ku's performance benefits will be even more dramatic in the tropical regions of the globe where other satellite solutions degrade significantly due to restrictions associated with operating at high skew angles. The 2Ku antenna and its increased spectral efficiency are compatible with today's Ku satellites and future Ku satellites, including future spot beam satellites. Because the antenna can be used with any Ku- satellite, it avoids the single point of failure that comes with reliance on a single satellite for connectivity in a given region, and offers airlines much desired redundancy and reliability.
"We anticipate that this technology will deliver peak speeds of 70Mbps to the plane when initially launched and more than 100 Mbps when new spot beam satellite technologies become available," added Gogo's chief technology officer, Anand Chari.
Gogo expects the new service to be available for the commercial aviation market in mid-2015.
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