Gogo has unveiled plans to build a 5G network for aviation, which it hopes to offer to business and commercial aviation in 2021.

The new air-to-ground (ATG) network will be designed for use on business aviation aircraft, commercial regional jets, and smaller mainline jets operating within the contiguous US Canada.

“We expect to launch Gogo 5G at the same time as the terrestrial telecommunications companies are deploying the same generation of technology on the ground – a first in the in-flight connectivity industry,” said Oakleigh Thorne, CEO of Gogo. “Gogo 5G is the next step in our technology evolution and is expected to deliver an unparalleled user experience, pairing high performance with low latency and network-wide redundancy.”

Gogo will build the 5G network on its existing infrastructure of more than 250 towers and will use unlicensed spectrum in the 2.4 GHz range, along with a proprietary modem and advanced beamforming technology.

Gogo’s 5G infrastructure will support all spectrum types (licensed, shared, unlicensed) and bands (mid, high, low), and will allow it to take advantage of new advances in technology as they are developed. The company will continue to employ its 3G and 4G networks throughout the continental US and in Canada to provide backup to the 5G network when needed.

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