Gogo Inflight Internet
|Traded as||NASDAQ: GOGO|
|Headquarters||Itasca, Illinois, United States|
|Michael J. Small (CEO), Norman Smagley (CFO)|
|Revenue||US$ 233.5 million (FY 2012)|
|US$ -32.5 million (FY 2012)|
|US$ -32.7 million (FY 2012)|
|Total assets||US$ 432.1 million (FY 2012)|
|Total equity||US$ 168.6 million (FY 2011)|
Number of employees
|Footnotes / references
Gogo Inc is a provider of in-flight broadband Internet service and other connectivity services for commercial and business aircraft, headquartered in Itasca, Illinois. Gogo has equipped over 2,000 commercial and 6,000 business aircraft with their services making them the world leader in in-flight connectivity and a pioneer in in-flight entertainment. Using the Gogo network and service, passengers with laptops and other Wi-Fi enabled devices can get online on more than 2,000 commercial aircraft including across more than 12 airline partners including Aeromexico, American Airlines, Air Canada, AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Japan Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, Vietnam Airlines, Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic.
- 1 History
- 2 Connectivity and performance
- 3 Technologies
- 4 Participating airlines
- 5 Surveillance support
- 6 Criticism of business model
- 7 Class-action lawsuit
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Gogo began in 1991 in a barbecue restaurant in Denison, Texas, where company founder Jimmy Ray sketched his idea for an affordable telephone system for private airplanes on a paper napkin. Through a partnership with cellular providers, Gogo began as Aircell, providing analog-based voice communications on private aircraft in North America. By the late '90s Gogo had leveraged a satellite-based system to offer voice communication on overseas flights. The next step was to devise a way to bring in-air connectivity to a larger market. In 2006, Gogo was awarded the FCC's exclusive Air-To-Ground (ATG) 3Ghz broadband frequency license. In 2008, Gogo made their debut on commercial aircraft.
In June 2011, the company formally changed its name from Aircell to Gogo as part of a re-branding effort. Prior to the re-brand, Gogo's commercial air service was known as "Gogo Inflight Internet." In September 2014 Aircell rebranded as Gogo Business Aviation.
On June 20, 2013 Gogo announced that it has priced its initial public offering of 11 million shares of common stock at $17 per share. Gogo started trading June 21, 2013 on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol "GOGO".
Connectivity and performance
Gogo provides continuous coverage with minimal lags in speed, detected when passing from one cell tower signal to the next. Gogo's connection speed is approximately 500–600 Kibibits per second for downloads and 300 Kibit/s for uploads Total bandwidth for the flight is approximately 3 Mbit/s.
Connection onboard can be similar (under optimal conditions) to the experience at Wi-Fi hotspots such as coffee shops and hotels in some but not all cases. Users report connectivity issues to streaming video such YouTube and HBO-GO. Some users reported Speedtest.net benchmarks above 3 Mbit/s, while another users reported low Speedtest.net benchmark results such as 0.03 Mbit/s down and 0.27 up. The user connects to the gogoinflight network and registers in the same way they would on the ground. The network becomes accessible as soon as electronic devices are approved for use after take-off.
Gogo uses a variety of advanced technologies to keep passengers connected in air. Below are the current technologies they use.
Gogo's ATG network is a cellular based network that has more than 160 towers in the continental U.S., Alaska and Canada. The towers are cellphone towers that have been outfitted to point their signals at the sky rather than along the ground. The aircraft picks up the signal through a receiver installed on its underside. When it reaches the aircraft, the data signal is distributed throughout the cabin via a Wi-Fi system.
Gogo's ATG-4 service has enhanced the existing network (ATG) and improves per aircraft capacity through the addition of Directional Antenna, Dual Modem and EV-DO Rev. B technologies. This new platform is backwards-compatible and allows for upgrades to existing ATG systems through low-cost retrofits. ATG-4 is expected to enhance Gogo's existing ATG network and deliver peak speeds from current performances of up to 3.1 Mbit/s to up to 9.8 Mbit/s per aircraft.
Gogo has satellite agreements in place with SES (for coverage over the U.S., Atlantic Ocean and Europe) and Intelsat (for coverage over portions of the Atlantic and northern Pacific oceans, as well as routes over South America, Asia, Africa and Australia). Gogo has also signed an agreement with Intelsat for Ku band satellite capacity specifically for coverage in the Atlantic and northern Pacific oceans, as well as routes over Central and South America, Asia, Australia and parts of Africa. Gogo announced in May 2012, that it will partner with satellite equipment provider, AeroSat, to bring a Ku-satellite solution to commercial airlines. A Ku-satellite solution will allow Gogo to offer airlines connectivity services that extend beyond the United States, including transoceanic routes, and will serve the needs of some of their airline partners in the near-term until Inmarsat's Global Xpress Ka band-satellite becomes available. Gogo's Ku-band satellite technology is used for Gogo's Ground to Orbit and 2Ku.
Gogo Ground to Orbit
Gogo Ground to Orbit uses a Ku-band satellite antenna for the downlink to the plane and Gogo's Air to Ground for uplink from the plane. Ground to Orbit will be in service over the United States and will have peak download speeds of 60 Mbit/s. Virgin America will be the launch partner of the new service. The Ku-band satellite antennas used for GTO are manufactured by ThinKom Solutions.
2Ku is Gogo's newest technology. 2Ku uses two Ku-band antennas, one for download and the other for upload. 2Ku will have speeds of 70 Mbit/s and has a low-profile 17 cm (6.69 in) tall radome. Like Ground to Orbit, the Ku-band antennas are manufactured by ThinKom Solutions. Aeromexico is the first airline to commit to using 2Ku.
Gogo platform Gogo's in-air platform brings a fully customizable experience to passengers flying. The platform gives travelers information, services, and entertainment while the airlines are able to display airline specific information.
Gogo Vision Gogo Vision enables customers to wirelessly stream content such as movies and TV shows from an onboard server to Wi-Fi enabled laptops during flight. Gogo Vision features a growing list of movies and TV shows from major Hollywood studios to offer customers entertainment choices. Movies and TV shows remain accessible for viewing after the customer has landed for 24 hours. In July 2014, Gogo launched Delta Studio with Delta Air Lines offering passengers a variety of television shows and movies that will be streamed wirelessly to passengers' own Wi-Fi enabled devices.
Gogo Text and Talk Gogo Text and Talk lets flyers send and receive text messages using their own smartphones, numbers and contact lists. In September 2014, T-Mobile US announced a new agreement with Gogo to provide customers with free unlimited WiFi text and multimedia messaging while on board a Gogo WiFi-equipped flight from a U.S.-based airline. U.S.-based Gogo WiFi partner airlines include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, United, US Airways and Virgin America.
Currently, Gogo can be found on Aeromexico, American Airlines, Air Canada, AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Japan Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, Vietnam Airlines, Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic. In-flight entertainment partners include American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Scoot, and US Airways.
Gogo service began on American Airlines in July 2008. The first routes served were JFK to San Francisco, JFK to LAX, and JFK to Miami. They are currently expanding to include Gogo service on the full American Airlines domestic fleet.
On August 5, 2008, Delta Air Lines announced it would install Gogo on all its domestic aircraft, which has since been completed. Recently, Delta announced that Gogo service would be expanded to include its full fleet of Delta regional jets. but a 2009 merger with Northwest Airlines added to the fleet. By early April 2010, 437 of 540 aircraft in the combined domestic fleet offered Wi-Fi, with remaining installations expected by summer 2010.
On November 20, 2009 Gogo announced that Air Canada began trials of the Gogo system on select Toronto-Los Angeles and Montreal-Los Angeles flights which occur in large part over the continental US.
On June 8, 2012, Gogo announced that Delta Air Lines will begin offering in-flight Internet service on its long-haul international fleet of more than 150 aircraft, which includes Boeing 777,767,747, Airbus 330 and transoceanic Boeing 757 aircraft in early 2013.
On August 28, 2012, Gogo announced that Industry Canada has issued Gogo a subordinate license for Canada's ATG radio frequency spectrum that will allow Gogo to serve passengers on commercial and business aircraft flying over Canada.
On January 11, 2013, Gogo announced that it will install two in-flight connectivity solutions to American Airlines' new Airbus A320 family and Boeing 737 deliveries: Ku-band satellite and Gogo's next generation Air to Ground technology - ATG-4.
On November 8, 2013 Gogo announced Gogo Text & Talk, an app that provides in-flight cell phone calls, and text messaging. The product is to be officially launched on commercial jets in 2014.
In April 2014, it was revealed through a Federal Communications Commission letter that Gogo partnered with government officials to voluntarily develop capabilities to share user data with law enforcement beyond what is required under the federal Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act.
In 2014, Adrienne Porter Felt, a Google security engineer, discovered during flight on a Gogo internet-equipped plane, that GoGo uses fake SSL authentication, carrying out "a man-in-the-middle attack on their users", to capture user activity. This deliberately fake authentication may be to enable law enforcement monitoring and also data mining of secure communications. The company was also criticized by Symantec for this issue.
Criticism of business model
It has been observed that Gogo practices a "Roach-motel" business model in which it is easy to sign up for service via automated means, but immediate cancellation requires interaction with a customer service representative. It is possible to cancel service for the next and future months by replying to an email. By making it easy to begin paying for their service but requiring a recurring monthly subscription even when a shorter term of service may be desired, Gogo creates a situation where it is likely that an infrequent flyer will be billed on subsequent months for a service that they do not intend to use. The service does offer 1-hour and 24-hour passes that do not create a recurring charge, however this does not change the fact that it's significantly harder to stop their service than it is to start it. Gogo claims that to "cancel service is as easy as signing up for it" and direct subscribers to engage in online chat, send email or call via telephone. The sign-up process does not require human interaction.
In 2013 Gogo was the subject of a class-action lawsuit where it was alleged they did not make mention of recurring charges on their website nor notify customers that these recurring charges were being made.
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- "Gogo Inflight Internet Provider Faces Class Action over Recurring Monthly Charges".
- Kim, Susanna (2013-09-23). "Gogo Sued for 'Recurring Charges' in Lawsuit Aiming for Class Action". ABC. Retrieved 2014-11-14.
- "Passenger sues 'misleading' inflight Wi-Fi provider after he paid recurring charges for 18 months when he only wanted 30 days worth". Daily Mail UK. 2013-09-23. Retrieved 2014-11-14.