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Gogo airline Wi-Fi goes global in 2013, with Inmarsat Ka-band satellite for 50Mbps speeds

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Gogo will piggyback on the Inmarsat 5 satellite network for global airline Wi-Fi coverage.

Gogo Inflight Internet Wi-Fi Logo 640
Gogo Inflight Internet Wi-Fi Logo 640

Gogo revealed plans to boost its in-flight internet service back in March, but today we're getting the first details. The company's partnering with Inmarsat to test global Ka-band satellite coverage starting in the middle of 2013 — when the first satellite launches — at speeds up to 50Mbps. Currently, Gogo provides the likes of Delta, Southwest, Virgin America, American and Alaska Airlines with an air-to-ground network of 3.1Mbps EV-DO Rev. A cellular, much like Verizon and Sprint 3G, but that doesn't extend across either ocean. ViaSat-1, which started orbiting the globe this month, might have provided faster North American satellite Wi-Fi sooner, but after the Inmarsat 5 satellite network is complete (presently slated for 2014), airlines should be able to offer complete global coverage.