Gogo to Expand In-Flight Wi-Fi to 70Mbps by Middle of 2015

Paul Lilly

In-flight Wi-Fi is getting a speed boost

Downloading content from a mile high is going to get a whole lot faster thanks to Gogo, which is working on increasing peak speeds more than seven-fold. Using low-profile, high efficiency Ku-band satellite antennas, Gogo expects in-flight Wi-Fi service to deliver peak speeds of more than 70Mbps by the middle of next year. That's pretty impressive, considering Gogo rolled out technology to increase peak speeds to 9.8Mbps a year ago.

Gogo is already using low-profile antennas for its Ground to Orbit technology. However, the company will move away from its Air to Ground solution for the return link to the ground, and instead rely on the above-mentioned Ku-band satellite antennas, which is the secret sauce to this high-speed Wi-Fi recipe.

The 2Ku antenna Gogo plans to utilize is two times more spectrally efficient than other antennas in the commercial aviation market. This translates into more bandwidth at a lower cost, and it also makes it the most TV friendly solution in the market, Gogo says. The actual antenna is just 4.5 inches tall, which reduces drag on the aircraft compared to other satellite solutions.

"We anticipate that this technology will deliver peak speeds of 70Mbps to the plane when initially launched and more than 100Mbps when new spot beam satellite technologies become available," Gogo's chief technology officer, Anand Chari, said in a statement .

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