Iridium Communications has selected Gogo as a value-added manufacturer (VAM) for Certus aviation terminals, the airborne equipment that will connect aircraft to Iridium’s L-band broadband satcom network. Gogo (Booth I35) will also be a Certus service provider and it is the first company selected by Iridium for both terminal manufacture and service provision.
Certus satcom is provided by Iridium’s Next satellite constellation, which currently consists of 55 satellites. During the remainder of this year, Iridium will launch an additional 20 satellites. The operational network will consist of 66 satellites in low-earth orbit, with nine as on-orbit spares and six ground spares.
Iridium works anywhere in the world, including full coverage over the earth’s poles. An advantage of Iridium is that it requires much smaller antennas and is thus suitable for a larger variety of aircraft types.
The target for Certus’s aviation service to become operational for aviation users is mid-2019. Certus network speeds are expected to reach 1.4 Mbps. Both cabin and cockpit connectivity will be available, including cockpit safety and electronic flight bag services.
Gogo has been delivering Iridium satcoms since 2002. “We’ve had a longstanding partnership with Iridium,” said Scott Richter, Gogo Business Aviation v-p of business and product development. “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.”