Gogo explains the teleport

A teleport is a ground station designed for communication with satellites. The job of the teleport is to communicate with satellites, getting data to and from our global aero network. Teleports are located at strategic places around the globe, allowing them line of sight communication with satellites.

The first thing you’ll notice at a teleport (like in the photo above) are the large parabolic antennas pointed at the sky. These antennas are in a fixed position, as the satellites they communicate with are in geo-stationary orbit – This means that the satellite is always located at the same position in the sky.

The distance covered by your data during an in-flight Wi-Fi session is immense; Geo-stationary orbit is 35,786 kilometers or 22,236 miles away. By the time your web site request is loading in your browser, it has traveled over 50,000 miles, or the equivalent of going around Earth twice. It does this entire route in around 1 – 1.5 seconds!

In addition to the satellite antennas, the teleport is also home to networking equipment, as well as fiber-optic links connecting the location to one of our data centers.

In this video, one of our engineers explains the trip that your data has to take to get from the aircraft cabin up to the satellite, then back down to earth onto the Internet. It then makes this trip in reverse, going back to your plane. Keep in mind that this plane is traveling in excess of 500Mph, and that the antenna on top of the plane needs to communicate with a satellite thousands of miles away. The technology behind this system is incredibly complex, which is why we are so proud of our 2Ku satellite internet system.

This map gives an approximate overview of the Gogo global satellite network. In it, you’ll see the various components that make up our network, including our global teleports, satellites and data centers. You’ll also see the blue coverage area, showcasing where we currently offer 2Ku coverage. This shaded area means we cover virtually every aircraft route in the world.