With the satellite-based in-flight connectivity market is going through “massive change", Gogo is feeling happy about its decision to remain technology-agnostic – a strategy it believes will enable it to provide airlines with greater flexibility as equipment evolves.

Today’s in-flight connectivity comes from geostationary (GEO) satellites located 24,000 miles above the Earth, but companies such as OneWeb and Telesat are planning to launch hundreds of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites as an alternative.

The much closer proximity to the Earth of this new generation of satellites is expected to greatly reduce latency because the signal between the satellite and the aircraft does not need to travel as far.

“What has been a fairly sleepy industry for decades is about to get radically reformed – we’re going to see massive innovation,” says Gogo chief operating officer John Wade. “We believe we should have open skies for satellites – airlines don’t want to be locked in to one satellite constellation.”

Wade adds that by being “agnostic” Gogo has “access to a much greater repertoire of satellites”.

“We believe it’s in the industry’s interest to let innovation drive forward by allowing integrators such as Gogo to select the best satellites out there,” says Wade. “I don’t believe any one constellation is going to be able to do everything, so by offering an amalgamation of different constellations we can offer a much more blended economic model.”

Gogo’s 2Ku connectivity service uses Ku-band GEO satellites, but the company also has a partnership with Intelsat to eventually also access OneWeb’s LEO constellation as part of a shared GEO/LEO network.

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Source: Flight Daily News