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Gogo taps Intelsat to boost in-flight connectivity speeds

Beginning in 2016, Gogo will expand its use of the Intelsat's Ku-band EpicNG satellites to deliver downlink speeds of up to 250 Mbps per aircraft.

In-flight WiFi provider Gogo is turning to Intelsat SA for a boost in access speeds.

Beginning in 2016, Gogo will expand its use of Intelsat's Ku-band EpicNG satellites to deliver downlink speeds of up to 250 Mbps per aircraft, to be shared among all passengers. Additional capacity will come from OneWeb's planned low earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation starting in 2018.

"OneWeb's unique constellation will enable broadband connectivity in the polar-regions and at high latitudes will also have low latency because the satellites are much closer to earth," said Anand Chari, Gogo's chief technology officer. "Intelsat EpicNG and the Intelsat Globalized Network provide high performance services that will increase our service capability in this year and beyond."

Gogo's current 2Ku technology can hit peak antenna speeds of 70 Mbps. The Gogo 2Ku system uses spot beam satellites and a dual antenna for traffic up and downstream.

Gogo says its 2Ku systems will "dynamically route traffic across the fully global 10 Tbps shared network based on coverage, latency, throughput and other performance criteria."

Gogo recently resolved a legal skirmish with American Airlines over Gogo's older ATG technology, which utilizes antennas on the ground to beam access to a plane.

The slower speeds prompted American seek, in court, a different WiFi provider, specifically Gogo rival ViaSat. The airline ultimately dropped the suit after Gogo offered to change its bid and supply the airliner with 2Ku speeds.

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