Gogo will be delaying the rollout of its 5G network, pushing it back from 2021 to 2022. According to LightReading, the global chip shortage is to blame for the delay, though Gogo didn’t provide any direct details about how the shortage was setting it back.
Gogo isn’t the only one feeling the sting of the global chip shortage: graphics cards, CPUs, and game consoles have become infamous for being in short supply, and car manufacturers are having to slow down production lines because of the supply constraint. The situation has gotten to the point where President Joe Biden has signed an executive order calling for a review of the chip supply chain.
The company, known for providing in-flight Wi-Fi, had a difficult 2020: it did several rounds of layoffs, pay cuts, and furloughs, as people stopped taking flights. The company also ended up selling its commercial in-flight Wi-Fi business to a bankrupt satellite provider, which makes it slightly unclear as to what the company plans to do with its 5G network when it eventually gets it rolled out. The company still provides internet and in-flight entertainment for smaller, more business-oriented planes, so it’s possible it’ll use the network to improve that service. Gogo wasn’t immediately available to comment on its future plans for the network.
The 5G network, when Gogo gets it rolled out, will be an upgrade to the company’s existing 3G cellular towers. Gogo gave up on its plans of upgrading the network to 4G with equipment from ZTE after the US government basically shut down the network equipment provider with a ban.