Gogo begins testing 5G ATG network

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Gogo Business Aviation is beginning prototype testing of its 5G air-to-ground (ATG) network and onboard equipment. Gogo announced the milestone following the installation of the first two 5G antennas on a tower, with the service expected to come online in the second half of 2022. The Gogo 5G network is being designed for aircraft operating within the contiguous US.

“Gogo 5G will be the fourth ATG nationwide network Gogo has designed and built,” said Dave Glenn, senior vice president, customer operations. “Deploying this first ground site antenna and leveraging our unparalleled ATG experience over 28 years will enable us to validate our design for a smooth product and service launch.”

Gogo completed development of its 5G air card prototypes and recently completed coast-to-coast flight testing of its 5G belly-mounted antennas successfully. Additionally, Gogo conducted a flight test establishing a connection between the 5G antennas on the aircraft and the 5G antennas on the ground tower.

Mike Syverson, senior vice president, engineering, Gogo, said: “The tests we’ve conducted and successfully passed validate what we modelled when we initially announced we would build a 5G network. Through the testing we’ve done so far, we now know that Gogo 5G is going to be better than we originally thought it would be.”

Gogo has also performed an end-to-end call using a 5G SIM card, from the onboard equipment to the cell site, through the data centre to the internet and back.

“What we’ve done is validate that our systems can talk to one another,” Syverson continued. “The antennas can talk to the cell site, which in turn can talk to the data centre. There is a lot of software development to put those pieces together, and it’s all working very well.”

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