Gogo widens international focus

Washington DC
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Gogo is in discussions with more than 40 potential new airline customers based outside of the USA for its connectivity services, says Michael Small, Gogo president and CEO.

Gogo will begin expanding its Ku-band capacity to new regions in 2013 to support transoceanic routes. It will also be one of two distributors of Inmarsat's Global Xpress Ka-band service, which will provide global coverage for airlines starting in early 2015. One piece of the international expansion plan will be extending services for existing customers. The company has more than 1,600 aircraft with its wi-fi equipment installed.

"We know that our airline partners clearly have a need for connectivity on their international fleets," says Small.

The Illinois-based connectivity introduced its Ku-band service in June. Delta Air Lines signed up to install that capability on its fleet of more than 150 international long-haul aircraft, which includes Airbus A330s and Boeing 747s, 757s, 767s and 777s. In August, Gogo received a license to provide Air to Ground (ATG) services in Canada as well.

Haivng capacity readily available in new regions will allow the connectivity provider to market the services to brand-new customers. Gogo signed a memorandum of understanding in June with satellite operator SES for Ku-band capacity over the USA, Europe and Atlantic Ocean regions. In September, it entered a multi-year agreement with Intelsat for Ku-band capacity on four satellites, covering parts of the Atlantic and northern Pacific oceans, as well as over Asia, South America, Australia and Africa.

Gogo started its international expansion in the first quarter of 2012 and added a new business segment specifically for this purpose, according to a regulatory filing by the company. That segment is in the start-up phase.