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Gogo To Up In-flight Internet Coverage with SES Satellites

SES-4 satellite. Credit: Space Systems/Loral artist's concept

PARIS — Commercial aircraft in-flight Internet provider Gogo is leasing six Ku-band transponders on three SES-owned satellites to extend its coverage, now enabled by terrestrial cellular networks in the continental United States, to the North Atlantic and European air routes, Gogo and SES announced Dec. 19.

Under the terms of the contract that the companies referred to as long-term, Gogo will lease capacity on the SES-1, SES-4 and NSS-703 satellites, with the latter coverage transferred to the SES-6 satellite in 2014 following that satellite’s launch in 2013.

Itasca, Ill.-based Gogo has contracted with a half-dozen U.S. and Canadian airlines to provide Internet access to passengers whose links are assured by terrestrial towers.

The contract with SES, which includes the use of SES-owned ground facilities in the United States and at SES’s Luxembourg headquarters campus, will put the company firmly in the trans-Atlantic commercial routes.

SES-1 is located at 101 degrees west and provides coverage of all 50 U.S. states. SES-4, at 22 degrees west, covers the Americas, Africa and Europe including some of the key Atlantic air routes. NSS-703, at 47 degrees west, includes spot beams over the North Atlantic.

“Gogo is entering the all-important international air travel market and expanding our North American offering with SES,” Gogo Chief Executive Michael Small said in a Dec. 19 statement. “A trio of SES satellites will enable Gogo to provide reliable and seamless Internet access for air passengers traveling some of the busiest routes in the world.”

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