Demystifying latency

Why does low latency connectivity matter to business aviation?

private jet passengers enjoying the inflight connectivity

Understanding latency and how to optimize your inflight connectivity experience with AVANCE

Data consumption and digital habits continue to evolve globally. Last year, Gogo powered 10 million devices, that’s approximately a dozen devices per flight with usage measured at 701 million MB. Data usage as well as the number of devices in use on a given flight is only going to increase.  

Inflight connectivity was once considered a luxury, but expectations have changed for business aviation operators. Today, inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) is mandatory, and expectations for business aviation operators are higher than ever. Passengers and crew alike expect top-notch service with high-speed data transfer and the ability to use any app they want, just like they do on the ground. 


Another critical piece to that equation is latency 

Most understand the concept of higher speeds, having experienced the evolution of telecommunications from 3G to 4G and now 5G, as well as from using a variety of apps. Some, however, may not be familiar with the term latency, which is paramount to an exceptional online experience.

Latency basics and how Gogo optimizes inflight latency 

Latency is the amount of time it takes for data to travel from one point to another. The farther the distance data must travel, the longer it will take for it to get there – it's a matter of basic physics. When data has to travel to satellites that sit tens of thousands of miles from Earth, there is a noticeable delay which makes real-time conversations such as voice calls and video conferences and many other applications – almost impossible to conduct.  

No one likes a delay in their voice calls, video conferences, or file transfers, and Gogo has long provided a low-latency service for those who use our air-to-ground (ATG) network in North America.  


Providing quality inflight Wi-Fi is a complicated engineering feat for those onboard an aircraft traveling 500 mph at 40,000 feet, but latency isn’t much of an issue when the signal only has to travel that distance vs. 22,000-25,000 miles. It’s one reason Gogo has thousands of happy customers who use our proprietary Gogo Biz 3G and 4G networks in the US and Canada. And the experience will only get better when we launch Gogo 5G later this year. 

low latency graph highlighting Gogo inflight Wi-Fi networks

The future of global inflight connectivity is here.

To date, global satellite connectivity has been the advantage of only large aircraft that can handle big, heavy equipment as well as the high costs associated with traditional geostationary (GEO) satellite services. GEO broadband has other limitations: it doesn’t provide truly global coverage and the service has significant latency because GEO satellites are located 22,000 to 25,000 miles from Earth.  


Gogo has taken a different approach and has engineered a broadband system that is truly global and offers low latency. We are able to do that because our service will operate on a low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellite constellation that sits roughly 750 miles from the Earth’s surface. With our LEO global broadband service, we are the first to provide true global coverage, over every ocean, and every continent, including the polar regions. LEO satellites deliver an exceptional experience when using modern apps and services such as video conferencing, live streaming, Wi-Fi calling, and gaming.

How latency impacts the capabilities of global inflight connectivity 

chart comparing global inflight connectivity options LEO vs GEO

Optimize your inflight experience with Gogo

Whether you are flying from Chicago to L.A. or from Rome to Dubai, the latency in your inflight connectivity network will make or break your experience. Do more of what you want to do now, regardless of the size of aircraft you fly or where in the world you fly it. Evolve to what’s next with Gogo inflight connectivity. 


It’s time to optimize your inflight experience by finding the right AVANCE solution for you. 

Take a deeper dive into AVANCE and LEO!