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Gogo and Iridium Partner to Deliver Best-in-Class Aircraft Connectivity

May 29, 2018

Iridium Communications Inc. announced Gogo as the newest value-added manufacturer (VAM) for Iridium Certus aviation terminals. Gogo has also been selected as an Iridium Certus service provider, making it the first company to design and manufacture terminals, while also providing the new L-band broadband service for business aviation.  Iridium Certus is the ideal solution for airline flightdeck communications, rotorcraft, and business jet flightdeck and cabin connectivity.

A recognized leader in the aviation industry and long-time Iridium partner, Gogo Business Aviation connectivity platforms and services are found on virtually every size and type of business aircraft flying globally. Today, thousands of business aircraft are flying with  communications systems from Gogo Business Aviation that use the Iridium® network. In fact, Gogo first began selling Iridium products and services in 2002 and introduced its Axxess system – which operates on the Iridium network – in 2005 followed by the more recent product, ST 4300. With Iridium Certus service delivered through the Iridium NEXT low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite constellation, Gogo will now continue this tradition while creating small-form-factor, low-latency and cost-effective antennas able to provide broadband service from any airspace, including the poles. 

"We've had a longstanding partnership with Iridium. Now, as a VAM and service provider for Iridium Certus, Gogo will be able to offer higher-speed data rates for business aircraft operating anywhere in the world," said Scott Richter, vice president of business and product development for Gogo Business Aviation. "Iridium Certus is not only a great complement to our current platform of systems that utilize our air-to-ground network, but will offer more choices for our customers looking to add global satellite connectivity with greater capabilities."

Iridium Certus will bring broadband functionality, with enterprise-grade quality of service, to the aviation industry. The service will deliver faster speeds and offer smaller form factor antennas featuring a range of throughput and service options. These options will enable a variety of capabilities for cockpit safety and electronic flight bag services as well as cabin business applications. Enabled by Iridium NEXT, Iridium Certus is poised to deliver the fastest L-band broadband speeds on the market, with eventual speeds of approximately 1.4Mbps. Initial flight trials for Iridium Certus aviation applications will take place later this year, with commercial service introduction specifically for aviation users targeted for mid-2019.

"We are thrilled to welcome Gogo to the Iridium Certus family as both a manufacturing partner and a service provider," said Bryan Hartin, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Iridium. "Iridium Certus is going to change the way the aviation industry communicates by introducing faster speeds and smaller hardware, all at competitive price points. Iridium Certus can support the entire aircraft, from the flight deck to the cabin, creating a truly connected flying experience."

Gogo joins an exclusive roster of best-in-class Iridium Certus VAMs and service providers for aviation. Current Iridium Certus VAMs for aviation include Thales, Rockwell Collins, L3 Communications and Cobham, in addition to the recently announced aviation service providers, including Honeywell Aerospace, SKYTRAC, Avitek and Navicom Aviation. 

Iridium NEXT is the Company's $3 billion, next-generation satellite network. To date, there have been six successful Iridium NEXT launches, deploying 55 new satellites. Two additional launches are planned for 2018, delivering 20 more satellites to orbit, completing the new constellation.  In total, 81 Iridium NEXT satellites are being built with 66 in the operational constellation, nine serving as on-orbit spares and six as ground spares.