Wi-Fi speeds are about to see an enormous improvement at 30,000 feet - Gogo has received FCC approval for its next-gen 2Ku technology.
The approval paves the way for installation and deployment on over 1,000 aircraft, with brands such as United and Virgin America slated to trial the technology first.
The new technology will see max speeds of 70 Mbs download, and has a much lower profile on the fuselage then existing equipment - thus reducing drag and the risk of bird strikes.
The announcement explains further:
The antenna is more spectrally efficient which means it will produce more bandwidth at less cost than competitive solutions. 2Ku's performance benefits will be even more dramatic in tropical regions where other satellite solutions degrade significantly due to restrictions associated with operating at high skew angles. The antenna itself is only 4.5 inches tall and the low profile produces very little incremental drag on the aircraft.
The 2Ku antenna and its increased spectral efficiency are compatible with today's Ku satellites and future Ku satellites, including future spot beam satellites. When future satellite technologies become available, Gogo expects peak speeds for the service in excess of 100 Mbps. Because the antenna can be used with any Ku-satellite, it also 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.
Michael Small, Gogo's president and CEO:
Clearing the necessary regulatory hurdles to provide this service to an aircraft flying anywhere around the globe is no small feat. Gogo has proven it is a leader at navigating these environments for all aircraft types no matter where they fly. We are happy that the launch of 2Ku is proceeding as planned and are continuing to work with the FAA on approval for installation.
The installations are set to begin soon with full deployment by the middle of the year.