Gogo recently made the largest announced in-flight connectivity deal in China, which also happens to be the first airline deal for Gogo in the country.
The agreement with Beijing-based Shareco Technologies will see Gogo’s 2Ku in-flight connectivity technology installed on 50 commercial aircraft for Shareco’s airline partners, including Hainan Airlines and Beijing Capital Airlines. Gogo will also provide its wireless in-flight entertainment solution, Gogo Vision, for Shareco to install on the aircraft.
Recent legal troubles with American Airlines have cast doubt on Gogo’s competitive strength compared to other companies, such as ViaSat, that have made significant progress in the airliner Wi-Fi market. Prior to the American Airlines lawsuit, Gogo had already made a number of deals with airlines for its 2Ku product, indicating that at least for those airlines, the 2Ku is considered a competitive offering.
Whether it is in response to the American Airlines lawsuit or part of Gogo’s previously developed strategic plan, the company has made a number of post-lawsuit enhancements to the 2Ku, including partnerships with Intelsat and satellite operator SES to help improve connectivity. Gogo also upgraded the 2Ku’s satellite modem.
Breaking ground in China will certainly serve to maintain Gogo’s dominant position, as China’s passenger airline market continues to expand and competition based on positive passenger experience increases.
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