Brad Ongna, senior manager of maintenance and ground operations at Stryker Corporation, a Fortune 500 medical technologies firm, has been dealing with inflight connectivity systems on Stryker’s corporate aircraft since 2015. For Stryker executives the aircraft internet is a must-have business tool when they fly. Ongna jokes: “I always say our aircraft run on coffee and internet; if either is unavailable, we aren’t going.”
The former inflight system (which included a Gogo ATG 5000 and a global satellite solution) had allowed the executives to do what they wanted to do when they flew: email, send large attachments, browse the internet. But, as time has gone on, internet availability has evolved from a nice amenity to an expectation. Stryker needed to have a connectivity system that could support the increasing performance demands of its executives as well as handle the ever-increasing number of devices brought onboard. Ongna noted, “Terrestrial internet has created a default expectation from the standpoint of both availability and performance. When our people get on the plane, they want internet performance that is at least as reliable as what they have at the office or home.” Ongna explains, “These days each passenger can potentially have 4 devices connected to Wi-fi between phones, tablets, laptops, and watches. Instead of asking our passengers to turn off these devices to conserve bandwidth we needed a system that could support this demand.”
Gogo allows me to provide the internet service to our executives that they expect while also giving me the freedom to be “hands-off” from a maintenance perspective so that I can focus on other things. Gogo continues to deliver quality and innovative products that provide value to our company.
Ongna chose to install the Gogo AVANCE™ L5 inflight internet and entertainment system that operates on the Gogo Biz 4G network when they purchased a new Falcon 2000LXS aircraft and also when they upgraded their Global from the ATG 5000. The main driver for the upgrade was less about the ability to do more online, but more about the ability to improve in-cabin Wi-Fi performance for all his passengers. For Ongna, the advantages the AVANCE L5 offered are:
Ongna stated: “The AVANCE system, in theory, should have some longevity to it. Instead of tearing out the system and installing a new one to get better performance the ability exists now, and into the future, to add on to the existing system with minimal downtime and disruption to flight schedules.”
While passengers are doing basically the same online tasks as they had before with Gogo’s ATG 5000, they’ve definitely noticed a difference in performance with the Gogo AVANCE L5 system.
Ongna explains that he’s seeing better connections, improved performance in the cabin, and greater reliability when it comes to providing a seamless connectivity experience on the ground and in the air. For Ongna, Wi-Fi on the aircraft is about keeping the executives productive, but also about improving their quality of life. Inflight connectivity allows them to do work on the aircraft, so when they land, they can go home with peace of mind. And, ultimately when it comes to inflight connectivity, Ongna wants his job to be seamless too. He states: “I’ve kind of become an in-inflight connectivity geek, but I’m by no means an IT guy. Everything I know right now is pretty much self-taught, but that only takes you so far when managing internet expectations and issues. The less I need to touch our onboard system, the better.”
Ongna adds: “If the passengers aren’t talking to me about Wi-Fi, I consider that a good thing. Why? Because typically that means it’s working fine, and they are happy with it. With Gogo, we are able to turn the system on and forget about it both from a performance and reliability perspective. The AVANCE system has been absolutely rock solid.