In-flight Wi-Fi provider Gogo announced plans to bring 5G to airplanes flying across the US and Canada via a new air-to-ground network.
In a statement, Gogo CEO Oakleigh Thorne touted the move as “the next step in our technology evolution” and flagged it as a milestone for aviation broadband.
The network is slated for commercial availability in 2021. However, airlines will need to upgrade their fleets with compatible equipment.
“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.”
Gogo said it plans to use more than 250 of its existing towers for the 5G network, which will initially run on 60MHz of unlicensed spectrum in the 2.4GHz band. A proprietary modem and advanced beamforming technology will be used to distribute the signal to business aviation aircraft, commercial regional jets and smaller mainline jets.
Fallback coverage will be provided by Gogo’s 3G and 4G networks, which it said will continue to operate.
To smooth the path for future 5G developments, the company added its new network will come with built-in support for a wide range of frequencies from low to high, as well as spectrum types, including licensed and shared.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back