Gogo, which powers much of the inflight Wi-Fi enjoyed today, has its eyes on a faster future.
According to a new report from VentureBeat, The connectivity provider today announced plans to build a 5G network for aviation to bolster its air-to-ground services on commercial regional jets, small mainline jets, and business aviation aircraft operating within the contiguous United States and Canada.
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.
The network is slated for commercial availability in 2021. However, airlines will need to upgrade their fleets with compatible equipment.
Oakleigh Thorne, CEO of Gogo, said: “We expect to launch Gogo 5G at the same time as the terrestrial telecommunications companies are deploying the same generation of technology on the ground – a first in the in-flight connectivity industry.”
There’s no pricing available yet. Right now, Gogo charges some really insane amounts of money for very limited internet service. From $10 USD for 150MB in Emirates and $14 for an hour in British Airways to a $50 unlimited internet access pass on all Gogo-equipped flights, let’s hope the prices get a bit cheaper in the coming years.