By John Pletz
Gogo Inc., which provides in-flight WiFi, has arranged a $135 million line of credit from Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan to fund international expansion.
The Itasca-based company formerly known as Aircell got its start providing wireless access to aircraft by building a network of ground-based cellular towers across the U.S., lining up Delta, American, VirginAmerica and other airlines as customers.
But the appetite for in-flight Internet access is particularly high on overseas trips, which roam far beyond Gogo cell towers. So Gogo needs satellites.
It plans to use forthcoming Ka-band satellites that provide greater capacity than existing Ku-band technology offered by Panasonic and others. The Ku-band service, which requires significant capital investment, will be available starting late next year. Meanwhile, Gogo also intends to offer Ka-band service internationally, starting in 2014 or 2015.
Gogo did not say how the financing announced Monday impacts its pending IPO. The 21-year-old company filed to go public and plans to raise $100 million. But the market for public offerings has been choppy at best, given the rocky IPOs of Facebook and Groupon Inc.