According to a statement, from April 2017, Virgin Australia will commence a three-month customer testing period of Gogo’s 2Ku technology on a single Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
The technology will leverage existing Ku satellites provided by Optus Satellite for domestic and New Zealand services, and Intelsat and SES for all other international flights.
All Virgin Australia guests travelling on the Wi-Fi-enabled aircraft during the testing period will be able to access Wi-Fi free during their flight. They will also be able to access streaming services Netflix, Stan and Pandora while in the air.
“The new connectivity solution will complement Virgin Australia’s popular onboard wireless in-flight entertainment system, which revolutionised domestic and Trans-Tasman in-flight entertainment when it was introduced in 2013.
“Feedback from our guests during the customer testing period will help us tailor our in-flight Wi-Fi offering to their needs.”
Gogo already provides in-flight connectivity for a number of airlines, including several committed to the 2Ku technology.
Gogo’s 2Ku technology uses a streamlined dual antenna (one for forward link, one for return link) to deliver simultaneous transmissions.
Michael Small, Gogo president and chief executive, said: "2Ku delivers a ground-like performance to aircraft flying around the world today, including the ability to stream video. Importantly, 2Ku is built on an open architecture and can leverage new technology advancements in the future."
Optus Satellite vice-president Paul Sheridan, said: “We welcome the opportunity to provide dedicated satellite capacity to support Virgin Australia and Gogo in the delivery of a premier in-flight customer experience.”