Gogo, an In-flight internet provider has announced its plans to bring 5G internet networks to planes as from 2021. Gogo design goal is to bring faster in-flight Wi-Fi uing 5G technology on smaller commercial planes and small business jets in the US and Canada.
Gogo says it plans to update its already owned 250 network towers with 5G technology to bring 5G life to its air-to-ground (ATG) service when it goes live in 2021. However, the existing 3G and 4G Gogo offerings will remain live in the US and Canada as backup options in the absence of 5G availability.
At the end of 2018, 1,881 out of 2,551 commercial aircrafts in North America get internet connections from these Gogo ground stations. Gogo CEO Oakleigh Thorne appreciates the new network saying that the network ‘is the next step in our technology evolution and is expected to deliver an unparalleled user experience…’
The company hopes to achieve high speeds combined with low latency and network-wide redundancy for the 5G network to offer a pleasurable inflight internet experience.
The 5G connection will be delivered to aircrafts via a combination of unlicensed 2.4GHz spectrum, a “proprietary modem” made by Gogo, and advanced beamforming technology. The company says it will support “all spectrum types (licensed, shared, unlicensed) and bands (mid, high, low)” in a bid to future-proof Gogo’s ability to increase speeds and bandwidth capabilities as 5G technology matures.
In an email to The Verge, Gogo’s director of communications Dave Mellin said the company will first deploy the 5G technology on “a few towers” for testing, but could not say when that will happen.