Gogo, the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, today announced three strategic partners which will play key roles in Gogo’s development of its 5G system and network. A true 5G experience requires every piece of the network and the onboard system hardware, software and antennas to be 5G capable.
“When we announced we were going to build a 5G network for aviation, we stated that we would leverage the expertise of U.S.-based companies to help us bring it to life,” said Sergio Aguirre, president of Gogo Business Aviation.
“The three partners we’re announcing today are on the leading edge of wireless network technology and together we will bring the most capable network and systems in aviation.”
Cisco, Airspan Networks, and FIRST RF Corp. each will provide necessary elements to Gogo’s 5G solution for aviation.
Cisco will provide core network solutions that will power Gogo’s nationwide air-to-ground (ATG) 5G network. Cisco was selected for its expertise in providing 4G/5G solutions for some of the world’s largest wireless telecommunications networks. Cisco’s innovation in network technologies is ideally suited for the advancements Gogo’s ATG network requires. Together, Gogo and Cisco will redefine the inflight entertainment and connectivity experience with a high throughput, low latency nationwide 5G network.
Cisco will offer Gogo a cloud-to-client approach for its 5G network, resulting from Cisco’s investments and commitment to developing cloud applications and services, to help customers unify multi-vendor solutions into a single, standards-based architecture, which will be critical to the Gogo 5G network.
The Gogo 5G system will use the same carrier grade technology as the Airspan Air5G product line. The Air5G platform will provide state-of-the-art 5G; virtualized-RAN base station technology that uses Massive MIMO antenna arrays for increased capacity. It also features advanced beamforming and tracking techniques, capable of communicating with an aircraft travelling in excess of 750 miles per hour, at long range, all while providing an enhanced mobile broadband 5G experience.
FIRST RF will bring its extensive advanced antenna and RF systems technology portfolio to deploy a solution that pairs Gogo’s existing 3G and 4G networks as well as the new 5G network. FIRST RF will provide belly-mounted airborne multi-band antennas that will connect Gogo’s onboard 5G system to the Gogo 5G network on ground. This technology will include complex multiband apertures, advanced beamforming technology, and phased arrays. FIRST RF provides government and commercial customers with premier performance and reliability while maintaining efficiency and responsiveness that is required in the modern marketplace.
Gogo’s 5G Network
Gogo’s new air-to-ground (ATG) 5G network will be designed for use on business aviation aircraft and commercial regional jets operating within the contiguous United States and Canada. Gogo expects the nationwide network to be available in 2021.
Gogo will build the 5G network on its existing infrastructure of more than 250 towers and will use unlicensed spectrum in the 2.4GHz range, along with a proprietary modem and advanced beamforming technology. Gogo’s 5G infrastructure will support all spectrum types (licensed, shared, unlicensed) and bands (mid, high, low), and will allow Gogo to take advantage of new advances in technology as they are developed. Similar to how wireless carriers provide redundancy across their networks, Gogo will continue to employ its 3G and 4G networks throughout the continental U.S. and in Canada that will provide backup to the 5G network when needed.
When compared to satellite technologies, ground-based network technologies in general deliver operational advantages – specifically lower cost of operation, symmetric bi-directional throughput, and lower latency. Gogo is committed to provide easy upgrade paths to 5G for existing Gogo air-to-ground customers.