The move should allow Gogo to offer improved Wi-Fi for passengers as it taps high-throughput service from Intelsat's first "Epic" network satellite.
Intelsat 29e will provide bridge service until Intelsat 32e becomes operational next year. Overall, coverage from Intelsat will include connectivity provided by Intelsat 32e, Intelsat 33e and Horizons 3e.
ViaSat (NASDAQ:VSAT) is zooming, +8.7%, and Gogo (NASDAQ:GOGO) is sliding 4.5% as American Airlines boosts its order with ViaSat to include faster Wi-Fi for 500 more domestic aircraft.
American had split an order between the two this summer: 100 new Boeing 737 Max planes to be outfitted by ViaSat, and 130 Airbus A319s and A320s to get Gogo's 2Ku satellite service. But Gogo warned this summer that some 550 planes were "subject to deinstallation at any time at American's option."
Gogo will still be deploying on other domestic aircraft, American says, and Panasonic (OTCPK:PCRFY) will keep servicing the international wide-body aircraft.
Gogo calls the move "old news" and says "it doesn't change our business outlook and financial guidance."
Gogo Business Aviation (GOGO -1.1%) says it has expanded its Gogo Vision in-flight entertainment system with movies and TV shows in seven languages.
In early 2017, the company says it will offer studio-licensed films and episodes with audio tracks in English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish and Swedish. Also, the app itself will be configurable in English, Arabic, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish.
The service offers latest releases along with about 200 on-demand films and programs. It works with cabin monitors or can stream to personal electronic devices; the content is housed in a server on board, saving potentially high data charges for customers.
Constant will develop the STCs for Embraer 145s, Legacy 600/650, Gulfstream V and Phenom 300 craft, as well as partnering on other aircraft.
The new 4G service will include Gogo Vision (the company's entertainment offering), the ability to talk and text using customers' own phones, streaming audio/video and Web/e-mail, all using existing technologies for transmittal (including dual-band 802.11ac for Wi-Fi).
An upgrade to its ground-based systems will call for new equipment all around, and therefore won't be ready until 2018. Newer competitors are stealing a bit of Gogo's thunder by launching faster (and cheaper) than what's available on Gogo's pioneering platform, which began building out even before the introduction of the iPhone.
An upgrade based on LTE wireless technology should deliver 100 Mbps to each plane, vs. Gogo's current ground-heavy system that delivers about 10 Mbps to the plane (shared among all passengers).
Meanwhile, Gogo must work to hold customers as satellite solutions (including its own) take hold. Shares have fallen 29.4% YTD.
Gogo (NASDAQ:GOGO) gained 4.6% after it announced approval from Chinese regulators to work with its local partner, China Telecom Satellite, to offer in-flight connectivity on flights in and out of China beginning in October.
The move means "seamless service" for Gogo-equipped flights heading into China, CEO Michael Small says, and he expects the partners will extend cooperation to Chinese airlines in the future.
One international Gogo partner runs service to China currently, and the company says it has a term sheet with Shareco Technologies to install 2Ku service on 50 aircraft for Shareco partners, including Hainan Airlines and Beijing Capital Airlines.
The company appointed Michele Coleman Mayes and Hugh Jones to board seats. Mayes is VP, general counsel and secretary for the New York Public Library, and spent five year before joining that organization as general counsel for Allstate. She also spent years in the U.S. Dept. of Justice before joining the corporate sector in 1982.
Jones is president of Sabre Airline Solutions and had previously served as CEO and president of Travelocity. He began a travel industry career with American Airlines in 1988.