Viasat has removed internet speed limits delivered to aircraft across all of its business aviation Ka-band service plans, and has doubled its minimum committed internet speed to the aircraft for the same Ka-band plans.
A recent report by Euroconsult, entitled Prospects for In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity, 2019, found that the growing demand for applications including video-conferencing and high-definition video streaming, which are expected to drive IFC terminal demand, require faster high-speed connectivity.
Viasat's elimination of Ka-band speed maximums enables a better experience for passengers and crew to simultaneously use business-critical productivity and entertainment apps, such as video-conferencing, accessing VPN/cloud content, email, high-definition streaming services and live TV, through all phases of flight across the world's most heavily travelled routes. Ka-band customers also have the option to subscribe to Viasat unlimited streaming, which allows passengers to access online media services without impacting monthly data allowances.
“Over the last few years, business aviation service plans have evolved to include bigger data allowances and higher Maximum Information Rates (MIR) and Committed Information Rates (CIR) as service providers react to ever increasing data requirements,” explains Valour Consultancy's Craig Foster. “As we emerge from COVID-19, these requirements will go up another notch with corporations transporting more of their employees through so-called health corridors and passengers having become more accustomed to using bandwidth-intensive applications like video-telephony and subscription-based streaming services during lockdown.
“Viasat's decision to remove speed caps entirely means that it will be poised to support the increase in demand and an overall improved passenger experience.”
The new Ka-band service plans offer uncapped speeds made possible by the world's highest-capacity satellite network combined with Viasat's hardware. Together they deliver the global bandwidth required to meet the increasing demand for faster connectivity speeds to use data-rich applications while in-flight. As a result of Viasat's recent Ka-band speed tests, customers have seen 40 Mbps and higher across the new service plans, allowing passengers to access more data at higher speeds across more devices.
“Today's offering delivers a completely new and premium in-flight experience made possible by our innovative technology,” says Claudio D'Amico, business area director, business aviation, Viasat. “We believe this key differentiator is expected to dramatically change the onboard connectivity experience for Viasat's business aviation Ka-band customers. By removing speed limits, we are creating a home-like connectivity experience for mid-cabin to large- and long-range business jets.”
The Viasat Ka-band business aviation IFC solution uses Viasat's Global Aero Terminal 5510, which taps into the Viasat-1, Viasat-2 and European Ka-band satellite platform, and is expected to be forward-compatible with Viasat's next-generation satellite systems. Customers can install the Viasat shipset and subscribe to a Viasat service package today, with assurances that they can access additional satellite capacity, including larger data volumes and expanded coverage once Viasat launches its Viasat-3 satellite constellation.