Article

What does it mean to be a technology agnostic IFEC provider?

Ku-band, L-Band, IFEC, MODMAN, LRU, ATG-4. Read any technical publication from an aviation company and you’re likely to get dizzy from all the acronyms and buzzwords. We recognize that many of Gogo’s products and services have their fair share of technical jargon, as well.

Thankfully, the Gogo Concourse blog is here with resources that clarify what these terms mean. One of the reasons you’ll see so many technical terms throughout our wide portfolio of products and services is that since our inception in 1991 we’ve never limited ourselves to just one technology platform.

In our recent “history of Gogo”, we took a closer look at all the different technologies we’ve introduced for the IFEC market (IFEC stands for Inflight Entertainment and Communications). From analog phone service to our 2Ku satellite system, Gogo has always put resources behind developing the best solution for each airline and its passengers.

Today, Gogo business aviation (BA) and commercial aviation (CA) offer these systems to aircraft owners and airlines:

  • L-Band data services
  • Iridium phone service
  • Air-to-ground data services for business and commercial aviation
  • Biz 4G data services for business aviation
  • Next generation air-to-ground data services for business and commercial aviation
  • Ka-band data services
  • Ku-band data services
  • Gogo 2Ku technology
  • Text and talk for business aviation
  • Streaming entertainment for business and commercial aviation
  • Connected aviation solutions

You can see we have a very broad selection of products and services – several of which offer different technologies for the same aircraft type. At the core of all this is our ability to be completely technology agnostic. What exactly does technology agnostic mean? The Concourse blog posed this question to John Wade, our Chief Operating Officer, and prior VP of our business aviation division:

Concourse: Gogo is a technology agnostic IFEC company. Could you please briefly explain this?

John Wade: Gogo prides itself on not being wedded to any one technology. Look at our history in Business Aviation as proof of that. Aircell (our previous company name) was founded more than 25 years ago on the concept of reusing the analog phone system for voice communication to private aircraft.

Since then the Business Aviation team has introduced Iridium to the industry, made use of Inmarsat L-band, and successfully deployed our own ATG system in record breaking numbers. Gogo remains technology agnostic across all its groups, always choosing the ‘best-in-class’ solutions to meet the specific needs of our aviation and airline customers.

Whether that’s our current ATG system, or our Next Gen ATG, Ku, or Ka, or even V-band, we’ll make use of whatever delivers the best solutions for our customers. Not being tied to any one technology is one of the many reasons why I think Gogo is not only a great company, but will remain the company airlines will want to work with for inflight internet services far into the future. It’s worked very well for the last 25 years, so I see no need to change it now!

Being technology agnostic runs in our blood. As one of the largest providers of IFEC in the world, we owe it to our current and future airline partners to always be on the forefront of product development, with the ability to offer the best products for their fleets, geographic region and passenger needs. Gogo has also invested in ensuring we have sufficient satellite capacity around the world, allowing us to support the growing demands of current customers, as well as new airlines joining us, no matter where they are based.

Of course, one of the most significant developments in recent years is our 2Ku satellite system. This unique dual antenna satellite system is committed to over 1,500 aircraft and remains one of the most popular IFEC solutions ever developed. With 2Ku, Gogo went from announcement, to development, to first installation in just slightly over two years. A similar story is currently unfolding related to our next generation air to ground system. The pace of development in our industry shows no sign of slowing down, and you can rest assured that the 1,200 very talented people here at Gogo are up to the challenge.