Skift Take

Satellite partnerships are everything in this high speed race, but with airlines making up their minds to equip planes, satellites already in sub-orbit have an advantage.

​No sooner are our fingers resting from covering American Airlines vs. Gogo vs. ViaSat and Qantas, Gogo raises the stakes against by announcing a new deal that will expand capacity on its service.

Gogo will partner with global satellite operator SES to satisfy passenger demand for higher speed Wi-Fi connections to offer passengers as the service grows from nice-to-have-maybe status to must-have product differentiator.

The deal will give Gogo access to the capacity of SES High Throughput Satellite (HTS) spot beam and wide beam capacity on the SES-14 and SES-15 satellites, which are scheduled to launch in 2017.

The two satellites will cover North America including Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, and Canada, as well as Central and South America, Caribbean, and the North Atlantic, Gogo states.

Gogo also gets to access capacity on an SES-12 HTS satellite set to launch in 2017 which will provide ccoverage in Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Russia.

“This deal will dramatically increase bandwidth and drive overall costs per bit down by orders of magnitude,” said Anand Chari, Gogo’s chief technology officer. “2Ku was originally designed to take advantage of these satellite enhancements. Airline partners who already committed to 2Ku will be able to take advantage of this new arrangement once the systems are flying without any equipment modifications.”

Elias Zaccack, SES’s Senior Vice President, Commercial, for the Americas Region and SES’s MSC Data Mobile Leader, said, “SES’s HTS satellite constellation offers unique features for aeronautical connectivity, including Hawaii-to-Rome, and Arctic Circle-to-Patagonia connectivity along with a fully redundant network, low cost and low weight and drag of onboard equipment, backward compatibility, and high quality gate-to-gate service with the best possible availability.”

Gogo’s deal with SES will also supply capacity Gogo’s live television product – Gogo TV.

“Obviously, increased capacity will drive a better customer experience, and we are driving significant value for our airline partners by developing systems that are open and capable of leveraging new technologies as they become available,” added Chari.


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Tags: gogo, inflight Wi-Fi

Photo credit: Gogo's plane is a test market, of sorts, for its new services. Gogo

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