Gogo OneWeb partnership may face Starlink in the business aviation market
TAMPA, Florida – Gogo plans to use OneWeb satellites in a partnership that could have it take on Starlink in an emerging business aviation market for low Earth orbit services.
Gogo announced its plans on May 22 to use OneWeb’s LEO network to connect business jets that are currently too small to use high-speed commercial satellite broadband solutions.
Gogo spokesman Dave Mellen said the onboard connectivity provider plans to use an electronically-guided antenna that’s small and light enough to fit “nearly any size business jet”.
This includes “ultralight jets” like the seven-seat HondaJet, or “big turbos” that include the 9-11 seater King Air 350.
Gogo said it plans to offer the services globally soon after the OneWeb constellation becomes available. British startup LEO currently only serves the upper regions of the Northern Hemisphere and says it will be ready to connect aircraft in 2024.
SpaceX’s Starlink LEO broadband services are widely available and currently serving established customers in 32 countries.
SpaceX has not specifically detailed Starlink’s plans for the business aviation market.
However, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Tweet on May 23 It is testing Starlink on its commercial airliner, adding that “[s]Polishing is required, but it works well.”
Musk is said to be using a large, long-range Gulfstream G650ER business jet, which can be configured for 11 to 18 passengers.
musk Tweet on May 24 That “Starlink is working on moving vehicles, including aircraft, but not yet reliably.”
Gogo currently provides low data rate communications internationally primarily through Iridium’s LEO satellite network, which uses a hockey puck-sized antenna for voice and text services. Gogo also uses Inmarsat’s geostationary satellites for other low data rate narrowband services including email.
For aircraft flying over the continental US, the Chicago-based company uses an air-to-ground network, or ATG, tower system that it says is currently capable of 4G performance as it upgrades to 5G.
Although Gogo’s high-speed service with OneWeb will also operate on large-cabin, long-haul aircraft, Milen said on May 25 that “middle and lower class” flying outside the range of the ATG towers “hasn’t had a broadband option before, and our service will fit the bill.” Those planes.”
Until Starlink, OneWeb and other LEO systems came online and were able to provide reliable services on the go, airlines flying outside of terrestrial ATG networks were using geostationary orbit satellites to get higher speeds.
Available antennas [high-speed broadband] “The satellites today are…large enough to sit in the tail of an airplane,” Mellen said.
“And there are too many aircraft that have tails and can take the weight of this system to be able to install it.”
JoJo said in a press release on May 22 that JoJo’s electronically directed antenna was developed using Hughes Network Systems and is capable of performing terrestrial broadband.
“This will be a fast and affordable broadband system that will deliver world class performance on the widest range of aircraft in business aviation,” Sergio Aguirre, President and Chief Operating Officer of Gogo, said in a statement.
There were 6,526 aircraft flying Gogo’s ATG systems and 4,522 aircraft with narrowband satellite communication installed as of March 31, according to Gogo.
Rick Prentice, analyst at Raymond James, said the partnership with OneWeb gives Gogo the ability to serve international business aviation markets that include an additional 14,000 aircraft, on top of the domestic market at around 25,000 aircraft.
Prentice said the deal demonstrates how onboard connectivity providers can benefit from LEO pools even as some continue to view Starlink, OneWeb and others as a “potential competitive threat” to their business.
“This partnership supports our belief that a LEO connection presents a much greater opportunity than a threat to GOGO, as it makes sense for a wholesale LEO provider like OneWeb to partner with GOGO given the highly fragmented agent network and the importance of relationships in the go-to-market,” he said in a note to investors.
Waiting for OneWeb
OneWeb signs launch agreements With SpaceX and India To resume satellite deployment this year, after plans to supplement the constellation with Russian Soyuz missiles were canceled due to the Russian war in Ukraine.
The LEO startup has deployed 428 satellites, or 66% of the total planned fleet, enabling services in the higher regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
Owns SpaceX More than 2,400 starlinks Satellites are in orbit, according to statistics maintained by spaceflight analyst and astronomer Jonathan McDowell.
Last month, aircraft service provider JSX said it was set to become The first air carrier to introduce Starlink’s LEO services later this year.
Jonathan Hoefler, Starlink’s vice president of commercial sales, said the service will provide “an internet experience similar to or better than that of passengers at home.”
Most of the routes that Dallas-based Charter Service operates are around the southwestern United States. JSX said the deal enables it to provide the Starlink network on up to 100 aircraft.
There are currently 77 30-seat Embraer aircraft in the JSX fleet, and JSX declined to comment on whether the service would use an electronically guided antenna.
starlink Unveil the service plan Designed for campers, motorhomes and other recreational vehicles (RVs) on May 23, but said the service isn’t ready for mobility yet.
“While our teams are actively working to enable Starlink to be used in moving vehicles (for example, cars, RVs, and boats), Starlink is not yet configured to be used safely in this way,” the company says on its website.
Starlink is also targeting the commercial airline market and has plans To connect Hawaiian Airlines flights Next year.