What does it mean to be a technology agnostic IFEC provider?

Ku band, L Band, IFEC, MODMAN, LRU, ATG-4. Read any technical publication from an aviation company, and you’ll most likely get dizzy from all the acronyms and buzzwords. Gogo is no different, as many of our products and services do indeed have their fair share of technical jargon. Thankfully, the Gogo Concourse blog is here, and we’ve written plenty of stories that attempt to clarify what a lot of these buzzwords actually mean. One of the reasons you’ll see so many technical terms from us is our wide portfolio of products and services. Since our inception in in 1991, we’ve never limited ourselves to just one technology.

In our recent “history of Gogo“, we took a closer look at all of the different technologies we’ve introduced for the IFEC market (IFEC stands for In-Flight Entertainment and Communications). From analog phone service to our 2Ku satellite system, Gogo has always put resources behind the best solution for an airline and its passengers.

Today, the Gogo business aviation (BA) and commercial aviation (CA) departments offer the following systems to aircraft owners and airlines:

  • L-Band data services
  • Iridium phone service
  • Air to ground data services for business and commercial aviation
  • Biz 4G data services for business aviation
  • Next generation air to ground data services for business and commercial aviation
  • Ka band data services
  • Ku band data services
  • 2Ku technology developed at Gogo
  • Text and talk for business aviation
  • Streaming entertainment for business and commercial aviation
  • Connected aviation solutions

As you can see, we have a really broad selection of products – several of which offer different technologies for the same aircraft type. At the core of this is our ability to be completely technology agnostic.But what does technology agnostic mean? The Concourse blog asked this question to John Wade, our Chief Operating Officer, and the prior VP of our business aviation division:

Concourse: Gogo is a technology agnostic IFEC company. Could you please provide me with a couple of sentences explaining this in your own words?

John Wade: Gogo has prided itself on not being wedded to any one technology.  Look at our history in Business Aviation as proof of that. Aircell (our previous company name) was founded over 25 years ago on the concept of reusing the analog phone system for voice communication to private aircraft.

Since then the Business Aviation team has introduced Iridium to the industry, made use of Inmarsat L band, and successfully deployed our own ATG system in record breaking numbers.  Today Gogo, across all its groups, remains technology agnostic and will chose the ‘best in class’ solutions for what works best for our airline customers.

Whether that’s our current ATG system, or our Next Gen ATG, Ku, or Ka, or even V band, we’ll make use of whatever brings the best solutions for our customers.  Not being tied to any one technology is one of the many reasons why I think Gogo is not only a great company, but will be the company airlines will want to work with for in-flight internet services.  It’s worked for us for the last 25 years, so I see no need to change it now!

As you can see, being technology agnostic runs in our blood. As one of the largest providers of IFEC in the world, we owe it to our current and future airline partners to always be on the forefront of product development, with the ability to offer them the best products for their fleet, geographic region and passenger needs.

Gogo has also invested in ensuring we have sufficient satellite capacity around the world, allowing us to support new airlines joining us, no matter where they are based. A good example of this is a recent deal we announced a deal to increase our satellite capacity from global provider SES and our partnership with Virgin Australia, allowing us to get them installed and online in record time.

Of course, one of our most complex developments in recent years is our 2Ku satellite system. This unique dual antenna satellite system is committed to over 1500 aircraft, and remains one of the most popular IFEC solutions ever developed. With 2Ku, Gogo went from announcement, to development, to first installation in just over 2 years. A similar development is currently taking place for our next generation air to ground systemThe pace of developments in our industry show no signs of slowing down, and you can rest assured that the 1200 talented employees here at Gogo are up to the challenge.