Gogo Unveils Ground to Orbit Faster In-flight Wi-Fi

By Jeremy Del Nero on 11 September 2013
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A Virgin America aircraft

A Virgin America aircraft

Wednesday, Gogo announced Ground to Orbit (GTO), a new technology that will significantly boost in-flight Internet speeds.

Using a combination of cellular towers and satellites, GTO is expected to provide speeds of up to six times faster than what air-to-ground systems are currently capable of. Estimates show that an aircraft equipped with GTO technology could receive more than 60Mbps in bandwidth, which is six times that of the current 10Mbps average.

Ground to Orbit will use a Ku-band antenna specifically designed for receiving download data, while relying on previously used systems for uploading data. This change should, for the first time, allow flyers to watch streaming video in-flight with little if any difficulty.

Gogo’s current offerings for its onboard Wi-Fi include a $14 one-day pass and a $50 monthly pass. Gogo said the pricing of its plans should not change dramatically with the introduction of GTO, and could become more affordable.

Virgin America is a launch partner for the new service, and will begin incorporating the technology on its aircraft in the second half of 2014. Gogo is the largest provider of in-flight Internet in the U.S.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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