Gogo Biz Starts 4G Network Flight Testing

Business aviation customers can expect much faster in-flight connection speeds early next year, the connectivity provider says.

Gogo Biz 4G Test
Gogo tested its 4G service in the company's Challenger 600 testbed last week.Gogo

In-flight connectivity provider Gogo successfully completed the initial phase of flight testing for its Gogo Biz 4G service ahead of the rollout of the faster air-to-ground network next year.

During a four-hour flight-test sortie last week aboard the company's Challenger 600 testbed, multiple 4G streaming video and streaming audio sessions were conducted simultaneously on a variety of devices, including laptops, tablets and phones.

“Gogo Biz 4G will deliver a true 4G in-flight experience on a robust, reliable network that business aircraft operators can count on,” said John Wade, Gogo Business Aviation's executive vice president and general manager. “Flight-test performance has exceeded our expectations. Market interest is high and we remain on track for first shipments in early 2017."

Testing was conducted at ranges as far as 150 miles from cell towers and at typical business aircraft cruise altitudes between 30,000 and 34,000 feet. The flights covered both rural and congested urban areas, including the departure and arrival corridors for Chicago O'Hare Airport, the nation's second busiest and the fifth busiest in the world.

Created specifically for the business aviation market, Gogo Biz 4G is specially designed around Gogo's latest air-to-ground technology that leverages its existing air-to-ground network and technology that has already flown hundreds of thousands of hours aboard thousands of business and commercial aircraft. The Gogo Biz 4G equipment package will incorporate dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi service and a host of other features, from a single, lightweight box, Gogo says.

At the Aircraft Electronics Association Convention in Orlando, Florida, today, Gogo announced that new customers can buy the hardware now for $99,000 and upgrade to 4G capability for free when it becomes available next year.