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Delta to Take Delivery of 2Ku-Equipped A350s in 2017

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Last year, the FAA approved Gogo’s next-generation 2Ku in-flight Wi-Fi, promising faster connections on all aircraft equipped with the product and leaving customers happy with their service on board.

Now, Gogo has announced that it’s teaming up with Airbus to install 2Ku on new A350s on a retrofit basis. Delta, the first airline to order it, expects the first delivery of 2Ku-equipped A350s in 2017. The carrier will also be the first in the US to launch domestic 2Ku service as its first narrow-body aircraft takes flight later this month. In addition, Gogo says more than 850 aircraft on 10 different airlines have committed to 2Ku, so it looks like faster Wi-Fi speeds are imminent on many carriers’ A350s.

Gogo's diagram of how 2Ku works.
Gogo’s diagram of how 2Ku works.

The new 2Ku Wi-Fi is said to deliver peak speeds of more than 70 Mbps to the aircraft to begin with — that’s more than 20 times the bandwidth of Gogo’s first-generation air-to-ground service — and will eventually reach speeds of 100 Mbps. The 2Ku-equipped A350s will have two satellite antennas, which look like domes, at the top of the aircraft and will be directed toward the transmitting satellite.

Gogo currently provides in-flight Wi-Fi service to 14 commercial airlines, including Alaska, American, Delta and Virgin America. Gogo’s original air-to-ground Wi-Fi product doesn’t have the best reputation among frequent travelers because of its crawling speeds and increasingly high prices. Earlier this year, American Airlines filed a lawsuit against Gogo on the grounds that it found a faster service, however, that lawsuit was later dropped. Hopefully with Gogo’s new 2Ku technology on A350s, the speed of service will dramatically increase — beginning with Delta.

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