VIDEO: Aircell shows comparison of Gogo versus SBB

Aircell has done a side-by-side comparison of its air-to-ground (ATG)-based in-flight Internet system (known commercially as Gogo) and the firm’s connectivity solution based on Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband (SBB) service (which it sells to the bizjet market).

Check out the video below. Aircell highlights the vast difference in the speed of the two solutions. It should be stressed, however, that Aircell’s ATG system is currently only offered in the USA, and by nature of its infrastructure cannot be offered on overseas flights, while the latter SBB offering is available globally.


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6 Responses to VIDEO: Aircell shows comparison of Gogo versus SBB

  1. Addison November 10, 2009 at 4:11 pm #

    This is really useful to see! Great story.

  2. MoJoh November 10, 2009 at 4:44 pm #

    Congratulations Mary foe adding the geographical caveat.
    If this was a valid comparison Aircell surely would not be partnering with SBB providers for trans oceanic/global coverage.

    The simple fact is the ATG solution will never be viable anywhere but over a large individual landmass governed by a single regulatory authority. Achieving the required approvals and necessary cell tower network over large disperate areas like Europe, Asia, Africa, the Asian subcontinent or the Middle East is highly unlikely

  3. Mushroom November 11, 2009 at 7:13 am #

    Hi Mary,

    Interesting video but slightly biased from Aircell.

    Surely the latency’s involved should be explained. ATG will be infinitely faster than Air to Geostationary (I believe). A bit like comparing a LAX to JFK direct flight with a LAX – JFK flight that went via Hong Kong!

    This is a fundamental inequality when it comes to TCP and the way the protocol works.

    I think in the interests of fairness, we should have a video of a person using superfast internet on aircell as he/she flys east past Rhode island!

    Secondly, the speeds of SBB would make it nigh on impossible to “surf the web” en masse in an aircraft. Looking at previous blog stories it seems the SBB guys realize as much too.

  4. Klaus Hergeschiemer, from G Section November 11, 2009 at 7:11 pm #

    I think the Mushroom man has been sampling some of his own goods.

    An Aircell produced video biased in favor Aircell? Really, professor? Never would have imagined.

    I look forward to your video, as you fly up to New England for lobster season.

  5. Anon November 13, 2009 at 4:03 am #

    Funny that Aircell is comparing their service with a Inmarsat system using an intermediate gain antenna instead of a high gain antenna, which would have given much higher bandwidth….

    The reason you are using acceleration and compression is to increase through put and negating the latency you get from using geostationary satellites. Since deploying it on both systems would have shown larger performance gains on the SwiftBroadband system than the Aircell system I can understand why they didn’t do that…

    Or as a wise man once told me; there are three types of lies: Lies, blatant lies and then there are benchmarks…

  6. Mushroom November 13, 2009 at 11:04 am #


    All I want is the truth and nothing but the truth :(

    I think anon’s comments are also quite interesting if this is the Inmarsat slower speed service that’s being compared to ATG…hmm…i wonder who anon works for!!?

    As for my ‘goods’?

    Well, my produce is freely available and used heartily, something apparent when you stack up business cases for some of these internet-in-the-sky providers!

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