At NBAA 2023 in Las Vegas, Gogo hosted an educational luncheon to explain why Gogo is updating its air-to-ground (ATG) network to LTE (long-term evolution) technology and the benefits LTE will enable. A panel of Gogo’s leaders (Sanjeev Nagpal, VP of product management; Mike Rupert, VP of network operations; Jeremy Tyler, VP of software engineering; and Mark Sander, SVP of sales – all featured in above image from left to right) discussed why the network migration is necessary, why Gogo is doing it now and the benefits it will enable when combined with AVANCE. They also touched upon the timeline of the network build and why anyone with a legacy ATG system (ATG 1000, 2000, 4000, or 5000) will need to upgrade to an AVANCE system now so they won’t lose their connectivity in 2026.
Gogo also featured two customers who provided their perspective about the performance improvements they’ve seen after upgrading from a legacy ATG system to AVANCE, along with a valued dealer representative who discussed actions they have taken at their facilities to make the upgrade to AVANCE as quick and simple as possible.
Gogo’s migration to LTE will improve our customers’ inflight experience but it will require anyone with a legacy ATG system to replace it with an AVANCE system. That’s because the air card in the legacy systems won’t be able to communicate with the LTE network.
And the timeline is critical to understand: The LTE network will be completed at the end of 2025. Then, in early 2026, the current network will be shut down and the LTE network will go live and, at that time, anyone with a legacy ATG system who hasn’t upgraded to AVANCE will lose their Gogo connectivity.
“We wouldn’t be here without our customers and our dealers and we’re doing this for our customers and our dealers,” said Sander. “The move to LTE is a good thing. We have to provide a service that works, and we have to provide a service that works reliably, all the time. Technology changes and we have to innovate with that technology, and we’re very committed to doing that."
“This isn’t the first time we’ve enhanced or upgraded our network,” Sander continued. “We’ve invested in our network technology numerous times. We invested in the 3G network several times by adding cell sites and by adding fiber. We built the 5G network to coincide with the new LTE network. So, we’re constantly innovating.”
We wouldn’t be here without our customers and our dealers and we’re doing this for our customers and our dealers. The move to LTE is a good thing. We have to provide a service that works, and we have to provide a service that works reliably, all the time. Technology changes and we have to innovate with that technology, and we’re very committed to doing that.
When completed, the LTE network will provide better performance and efficiency on the same licensed spectrum and same bandwidth Gogo operates today. The LTE network migration has been designed to provide customers with increased performance, enhanced system capacity and security, and it will help ensure the longevity of Gogo’s ATG network in North America for many years to come. Once installed, the AVANCE platform will provide a seamless transition to the new LTE network. AVANCE provides an additional benefit because it’s the gateway for what’s coming in 2024 including Gogo 5G, and Gogo’s global broadband solution, Gogo Galileo.
“Technology doesn’t stay static and the applications on your phone don’t stay static,” Sander added. “Those applications require and consume more and more data, and if you’re not thinking about where that data is going to be, two, three, four or five years from now, you’re already running behind. That’s how we at Gogo think about our network and our products and services, and that’s what’s driving this move to LTE.”
With nearly 35 years serving business aviation, Gogo is committed to continued innovation and investment in our ATG network, and this is the next step in that evolution. In fact, this will be the fifth time Gogo has migrated its ATG network to newer technology. During the next two years, there will be teams on-site across the United States building and testing – it's a big job updating hundreds of sites.
Although the network build is in the works, the LTE radio is already in place in all AVANCE LRUs which means once a customer has AVANCE on board, they will be automatically switched over to the LTE when the network goes live in early 2026. And, speaking of the future, with AVANCE, your system is sustainable, meaning the physical LRU won’t need to be replaced to stay upgraded with the latest technology. The new software will be sent automatically over the air to the LRU so no physical update is needed. The software updates will improve functionality, fix glitches, and add features and the updates are very simple – similar to how a Smartphone receives updates on the ground.
To conclude the luncheon, two of Gogo’s customers who have recently upgraded to AVANCE L3 and L5 shared their feedback as well as a valued MRO explained how they are expediting the upgrade process:
I'm not easily impressed, but AVANCE L3 has really impressed me. It is so much more than I was expecting. I was wholly unprepared for the difference in performance. It really is a night and day difference. The ATG 5000 was adequate, but with the AVANCE L3 it is truly wonderful connectivity. The Gogo AVANCE upgrade was 100% worth it. Even the install time was minimal, five days.
Overall the upgrade was fairly streamlined. We did it at the same time as a light inspection. Our executives love AVANCE L5. They notice the difference. AVANCE L5 is faster, maintains performance with more devices, and is better for Wi-Fi phone calls.
Preparation is key. We encourage our customers who are interested in upgrading their aircraft with connectivity solutions to speak with their salesperson as soon as possible so that once it’s scheduled, we can confirm their preferred service center has the parts and expertise required for a seamless installation.
The big takeaway for all customers is that Gogo’s network migration to LTE is going to bring faster speeds, better features, and an enhanced inflight Wi-Fi experience. If you are on a legacy ATG system, you need to schedule your aircraft for an upgrade to AVANCE sooner rather than later.
Gogo is offering enticing rebates to make it easier for customers to act sooner than later. Don’t get left behind, the time to upgrade to AVANCE is NOW.