Redefining Airplane Mode

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Please put your trays in upright position and enjoy the in-flight 5G connection. Not an option on today’s airlines, but Gogo’s new Air To Ground (ATG) network will soon be flying high. Telecompetitor.com reports that Cisco, Airspan and FIRST RF will be partnering up to offer 5G for airline travelers. 

In a press release, Gogo Business Aviation President, Sergio Aguirre stated, “When we announced we were going to build a 5G network for aviation, we stated that we would leverage the expertise of U.S.-based companies to help us bring it to life. The three partners we’re announcing today are on the leading edge of wireless network technology and together we will bring the most capable network and systems in aviation.”   

Gogo will continue to operate its 3G and 4G networks to back up its 5G networks and intends to have aircraft access available in 2021. Existing infrastructure, including 250 cell towers, will provide the backbone of the new 5G network. Gogo intends to use the unlicensed spectrum in the 2.4 GHz range, with support from a proprietary modem and its own beamforming technology. Airspan will also contribute its expertise in beamforming and tracking technologies in order to maintain a connection at 750 mph. 

The core network platform for entertainment operations will come from Cisco systems. Antenna and RF systems will be provided by FIRST RF. Mounting the antennas on the plane’s underbelly will allow the various aspects of the infrastructure to connect to Gogo’s onboard and ground networks. Complex multi-band apertures, advanced bream forming and phased arrays will all be incorporated.  

November 1, 2019

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