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June 27, 2012

Gogo Looking for International Growth

By Nick Ruble, TMCnet Contributing Writer

In-flight Wi-Fi provider, Gogo, has just received upward of $135 million in funding from Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan (News - Alert) with intentions of boosting its international presence and expansion.

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The company is definitely breaking out of its shell as of late, having just filed its initial public offering after being in the game for 21 years, and shortly after acquiringthe previously defunct in-flight Wi-Fi company, Airfone. It’s unclear how the IPO will go exactly, considering the outcome of other recent IPOs like Facebook (News - Alert) and Groupon, but Gogo hopes to pocket $100 million when all is said and done.

Fact of the matter is, the demand for in-flight Wi-Fi is at an all time high - smartphones, tablets and other portable devices are now more popular than ever. Peopleneedthatsenseofconnection to the rest of the world. During long flights, Internet access allows users to keep occupied in their own personal way, be it browsing the Web, getting some work done or even making calls and sending out texts via Wi-Fi calling services.

So, if Gogo plays its cards right, it has a lot of potential to rise to the top of the in-flight connectivity game, meaning that the IPO might just do alright, and along with the boost in funding from Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan, it’s looking like some big things are in the works.

Since the recently purchased Airfone networks are powered by traditional ground-based 3G and LTE (News - Alert) towers, the problem of being left without a connection during overseas trips arises.

That said, it’s probably a safe bet that Gogo will be dumping a decent amount of money into the more popular satellite-based connectivity methods to gain that edge over the competition; the option of LTE networks makes for a super-quick connection when flying over areas of coverage - which is great, but those networks are spotty and not always available. Through obtaining satellite coverage, not only will users be able to connect to the Web on those long, overseas flights, but also in areas which are untouched by 3G and LTE networks.

Gogo has its eyes on the anticipatedKa-bandsatellites, which provide a much greater capacity than conventional setups running on Ku-band technologies. All things considered, the company will have to shell out a considerable sum of money for such new and advanced technologies, but will definitely have the upper hand with a lot of the competition due to the increased capacity as well as the already-in-use ground-based towers. 

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO click here.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman