Something to look forward to: Most of the 5G talk right now is about how it will benefit consumers on the ground, but those in the air aren’t being left out. Gogo, the in-flight Wi-Fi provider, says its 5G network for business and commercial aviation will launch in 2021.
The company’s new air-to-ground (ATG) network will be designed for commercial and business regional jets and smaller commercial airlines in the continental United States and Canada.
The 5G network, which will use unlicensed spectrum in the 2.4GHz range, is being built on top of Gogo’s existing 250 towers. It will use the company’s proprietary modem and advanced beamforming technology while supporting all spectrum types (licensed, shared, unlicensed) and bands (mid, high, low).
"We expect to launch Gogo 5G at the same time as the terrestrial telecommunications companies are deploying the same generation of technology on the ground -- a first in the inflight connectivity industry," said Gogo CEO Oakleigh Thorne. "Gogo 5G is the next step in our technology evolution and is expected to deliver an unparalleled user experience, pairing high performance with low latency and network-wide redundancy."
The company added that its 3G and 4G networks would continue to be deployed across the US and Canada as a backup when 5G isn’t available.
Gogo says its ground-based network offers lower operational costs and lower latency compared to satellite technologies, though as noted by The Verge, connection interruptions and slower speeds are reported to occur when switching from tower to tower, or when more than one plane is connected to a single tower.
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