Gogo Gets Blanket License for Aircraft Uplinks

Inflight Internet service provider Gogo announced this week that it has received a FCC blanket license (E120106) to operate up to 1,000 Ku-band 0.24 meter satellite terminals on aircraft. Gogo said the license, which was granted based on its agreements with SES and Intelsat, will provide the company with extensive global Ku-band satellite coverage. Gogo will use SES-1 to cover the continental United States and three spot beams from NSS-703 to reach aircraft flying transatlantic routes. SES-4 will be used to serve Europe. The NSS-703 service is expected to be transitioned to the new SES-6 satellite in mid-2014.

Gogo's agreement with Intelsat gives it access to Intelsat 19, Intelsat 21 and Intelsat 22 which will provide high-speed connectivity for airline passengers crossing portions of the Atlantic and northern Pacific oceans as well as routes over South America, Asia, Africa and Australia.

“The licensing is another step in allowing us to launch global in-flight services, including services for aircraft flying busy routes over the Atlantic and Pacific oceans,” said Michael Small, Gogo's president and CEO.

The antenna specified in the license is a mechanically pointed AeroSat HR6400 with a maximum gain of 29 dBi at 14.47 GHz. Maximum aggregate EIRP for all carriers is 44.5 dBW. The transmission bandwidth ranges from 4.1 to 8.0 MHz while the receive bandwidth is 30 MHz.

The announcement said Gogo also has an agreement in place with satellite provider Inmarsat for global Ka-band satellite via Inmarsat's Global Xpress service when it becomes available in 2015. Inmarsat has an agreement with Kymeta to provide electronically steered antennas for this service.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.