Gogo Inflight Internet

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Industry Technology, Aviation
Founded 1991
Founder Jimmy Ray
Headquarters The Gogo Building, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Area served
Key people
Michael J. Small (CEO), Norman Smagley (CFO)
Products In-flight entertainment
In-flight connectivity
Revenue IncreaseUS$ 233.5 million (FY 2012)
DecreaseUS$ -32.5 million (FY 2012)
Decrease US$ -32.7 million (FY 2012)
Total assets Increase US$ 432.1 million (FY 2012)
Total equity Decrease US$ 168.6 million (FY 2011)
Number of employees
Divisions Aircell
Website www.gogoair.com
Footnotes / references

Gogo Inc is a provider of in-flight broadband Internet service and other connectivity services for commercial and business aircraft, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. 12 airlines partner with Gogo to provide in-flight WiFi, 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. According to Gogo, over 2,100 commercial aircraft and 6,600 business aircraft have been equipped with its onboard Wi-Fi services. [2]


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 U.S. Federal Communications Commission's exclusive Air-To-Ground (ATG) 3Ghz broadband frequency license. In 2008, Gogo made their debut on commercial aircraft.[3]

In June 2011, the company 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.[4]

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".[5][6]

In June 2015, the company moved its commercial headquarters to 111 N. Canal St in downtown Chicago.

Connectivity and performance[edit]

Gogo provides continuous coverage with minimal interruptions 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[7] Total bandwidth for the flight is approximately 3 Mbit/s.

The Gogo service is compatible with Macintosh, Linux, and Windows computers, as well as any other devices that have Wi-Fi capability, including BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Android, and iOS.

External Aircraft Antenna

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. In January 2015 David P. Reed reported that Gogo service exhibited multiple seconds of latency under load, due to bufferbloat.[8] 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.[9]

The service includes account management and allows purchasing service before the flight using the product web site. VoIP applications are prohibited by the terms of service.[10]


Gogo uses a variety of advanced technologies to keep passengers connected in air. Below are the current technologies they use.

Air-To-Ground (ATG)[edit]

Gogo's ATG network is a cellular based network that has more than 160 towers in the continental U.S., Alaska and Canada.[11] 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.

Ku-band satellite[edit]

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.[12][13][14] Gogo's Ku-band satellite technology is used for Gogo's Ground to Orbit and 2Ku.

Gogo Ground to Orbit[edit]

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.[15] The Ku-band satellite antennas used for GTO are manufactured by ThinKom Solutions.[16]


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.[17] Like Ground to Orbit, the Ku-band antennas are manufactured by ThinKom Solutions.[18] Aeromexico is the first airline to commit to using 2Ku.[19]

Gogo products[edit]

  • Gogo platform

Gogo's in-air platform gives travelers information, services, and entertainment while the airlines are able to display airline-specific information.

  • 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.[20]

  • 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. 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.[21]

Participating airlines[edit]

As of 2014, 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. As of 2010, they are expanding to include Gogo service on the full American Airlines domestic fleet.[22]

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.[23] 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.[24]

Virgin America became the first airline with fleetwide in-flight Internet access, in March 2009.[9]

On July 14, 2009, AirTran Airways completed installation of Gogo on 136 of its aircraft.[25]

October 2, 2009 saw the launch of Gogo on United Airlines' p.s. Flight 23 from New York to Los Angeles. The company installed Gogo on the entire United p.s. fleet before November 6, 2009.

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.[26]

On February 24, 2010, Alaska Airlines announced that it will offer Gogo on its full fleet. The full fleet installation was completed in the fall of 2011.[27]

On March 29, 2010, US Airways announced that all its Airbus A321 fleet would offer Gogo by June 1, 2011. The full fleet installation was completed in the fall of 2011.[28]

On February 5, 2012 Frontier Airlines announced that it had equipped all of its Embraer E190 aircraft with Gogo to begin service on February 6, 2012.[29]

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.[30]

On June 20, 2012, Gogo announces that they have extended its contract with United Air Lines to upgrade its p.s. fleet to Gogo's new ATG-4 connectivity service.[31]

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.[32]

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.[33]

On October 8, 2013, Gogo announced that Japan Airlines will begin offering in-flight Internet service on its domestic fleet of 77 aircraft, which includes Boeing 737,767,777, and 787 aircraft.[34]

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.[35]

Surveillance support[edit]

In April 2014, it was revealed through a U.S. 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.[36][37][38]

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, and criticized the company for its use.[39] The company was also criticized by Symantec for this issue.[40]

Criticism of business model[edit]

It has been observed that Gogo practices a "roach-motel" business model that makes it easy to sign up for service via automated means but requires interaction with a customer service representative to effect an immediate cancellation. However, service for next and future months many be cancelled via email.[41] By making it easy to begin paying for service but requiring a recurring monthly subscription, even when a shorter term of service may be desired, Gogo makes it likely for infrequent flyers to be billed in subsequent months for a service they do not intend to use. The service does offer 1-hour and 24-hour passes that do not incur a recurring charge; however, this does not change the fact that even those limited-time services are significantly harder to stop than to initiate. Gogo claims that to "cancel service is as easy as signing up for it" and directs subscribers to engage in online chat, send email or call via telephone.[42] In contrast, however, the sign-up process does not require human interaction.[43]

Class-action lawsuit[edit]

In 2013 Gogo was the subject of a class-action lawsuit, for allegedly not mentioning recurring charges on their website nor notifying customers that these recurring charges would be made.[44][45][46]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gogo SEC Filings, Form S-1". Securities Exchange Commission, Gogo Inc. 
  2. ^ "About Gogo". 
  3. ^ "Untitled - Gogo Press Room [PDF]" (PDF). 4 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "Aircell Rebrands as Gogo Business Aviation". Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Gogo Inc. Prices Initial Public Offering At $17 Per Share - Jun 20, 2013". Gogoair.mediaroom.com. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  6. ^ "The Gogo Press Kit | Gogo Blog". Gogo.to. 2013-05-28. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  7. ^ Internet-a-Gogo: Airlines to Offer In-Flight Access The Wall Street Journal
  8. ^ "GoGo does not need to run “Man in the Middle Attacks” on YouTube". 2015-01-06. Retrieved 2015-06-07. 
  9. ^ a b "Press Releases". Virgin America. 2009-05-20. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  10. ^ "Gogo FAQ". Gogoinflight.com. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  11. ^ "Will I have coverage if my flight goes into Canada?". Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  12. ^ "Gogo Agrees To Partnership with Inmarsat for Global Xpress (GX) - Dec 20, 2012". Gogoair.mediaroom.com. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  13. ^ "Gogo Press Room - Press Releases". Gogoair.mediaroom.com. 2012-06-18. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  14. ^ "Gogo Press Room - Press Releases". Gogoair.mediaroom.com. 2012-05-18. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  15. ^ "Gogo Announces its Next Generation In-Flight Internet Technology for North America - Sep 11, 2013". Gogoair.mediaroom.com. 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  16. ^ "Gogo to launch global Ground-to-Orbit connectivity". Runway Girl Network. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  17. ^ "Introducing 2Ku". gogoair.com. Gogo. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  18. ^ "Aeromexico becomes first customer of Gogo 2Ku connectivity". Runway Girl Network. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  19. ^ "Aeromexico is first airline to commit to Gogo’s 2Ku high-speed connectivity service". Future Travel Experience. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  20. ^ "T-Mobile US promotes Wi-Fi calling, launches home hotspot". Telecompaper. 2014-09-11. Retrieved 2014-09-14. 
  21. ^ "Gogo Helps Launch "Delta Studio" with Delta Air Lines". Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  22. ^ "Airline Wireless | Inflight Internet| Airplane Wifi Access". AA.com. 2008-03-18. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  23. ^ Delta Air Lines To Offer In-Flight Wi-Fi On All Domestic Flights (Official Press Release: August 5, 2008)
  24. ^ "Spring is in the air... and so is the Internet! (Delta blog: Apr 6, 2010)". Blog.delta.com. 2010-04-06. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  25. ^ PROMISE DELIVERED: Airtran Completes Installation of Wi-Fi On All Aircraft [1]
  26. ^ "Four pieces of great inflight WiFi news from Gogo - Gadling". Gadling. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  27. ^ "Alaska Airlines To Offer Gogo Inflight Internet Service". Gogo.mediaroom.com. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  28. ^ "Us Airways Takes To The Sky With Gogo Inflight Internet". Gogo.mediaroom.com. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  29. ^ "Frontier Begins Gogo Offering on E190 Aircraft". 
  30. ^ "Gogo Press Room - Press Releases". Gogoair.mediaroom.com. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  31. ^ "Gogo to Upgrade United's P.S. Fleet with Next Generation ATG-4 In-Air Connectivity Solution - Jul 20, 2012". Gogoair.mediaroom.com. 2012-07-20. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  32. ^ "Gogo Licensed to Provide In-Air Connectivity over Canada - Aug 28, 2012". Gogoair.mediaroom.com. 2012-08-28. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  33. ^ "Gogo to Install both Satellite and Air to Ground In-Flight Internet Solutions on American Airlines' New A320 and 737 Aircraft - Jan 11, 2013". Gogoair.mediaroom.com. 2013-01-11. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  34. ^ "Gogo to provide Japan Airlines with domestic Internet". Reuters. 2013-10-28. 
  35. ^ Baig, Edward C. (2013-11-08). "Gogo's latest: texting and calling on airplanes". USA Today. 
  36. ^ Sirota, David (April 7, 2014). "Documents show Gogo boasted of helping law enforcement agencies spy on in-flight wifi". PandoDaily. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  37. ^ Zetter, Kim (April 9, 2014). "The Feds Cut a Deal With In-Flight Wi-Fi Providers, and Privacy Groups Are Worried". Wired. Archived from the original on April 12, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  38. ^ Silver, Joe (2014-04-10). "At Feds’ request, GoGo in-flight Wi-Fi service added more spying capabilities". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  39. ^ "Gogo Inflight Internet is intentionally issuing fake SSL certificates". Neowin. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  40. ^ Andrews, Rick (15 February 2015). "Gogo Inflight Internet is Intentionally Issuing Fake SSL Certificates". Symantec. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
  41. ^ Doctorow, Cory (2014-11-13). "Escaping from Gogo's roach-motel business model". PSA: Escaping from Gogo's roach-motel business model. BoingBoing. Retrieved 2014-11-13. 
  42. ^ "Gogo FAQ". 
  43. ^ "Gogo registration page". 
  44. ^ "Gogo Inflight Internet Provider Faces Class Action over Recurring Monthly Charges". 
  45. ^ Kim, Susanna (2013-09-23). "Gogo Sued for 'Recurring Charges' in Lawsuit Aiming for Class Action". ABC. Retrieved 2014-11-14. 
  46. ^ "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. 

External links[edit]