Gogo inks deal to expand inflight Wi-Fi service

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Gogo Inc. announced a deal Tuesday for access to new satellites that will boost its coverage of North, Central and South America.

The Chicago-based company said the deal with SES will help it meet growing demand for inflight W-Fi and entertainment services.

Gogo contracted for use of two satellites scheduled for launch in 2017. The satellites’ coverage will include Alaska and Hawaii, the Caribbean, and the North Atlantic. Additionally, Gogo said it will get access to a third satellite that will cover Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Russia.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Anand Chari, Gogo’s chief technology officer, said its satellite-based system, called 2Ku, was designed to take advantage of the technology available on these new SES satellites.

“Airline partners who already committed to 2Ku will be able to take advantage of this new arrangement once the systems are flying without any equipment modifications,” Chari said in a news release.

Gogo said its live television product, Gogo TV, will also benefit from the additional capacity.

Gogo’s older, ground-to-air system was the source of a contract dispute with American Airlines, which sought to have a competitor install satellite-based service in some of its 737 jets. Gogo will submit a bid within 45 days in an effort to keep the 737 contract.

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