Viasat has unveiled enhanced business aviation in-flight broadband service options that harmonise its Viasat Ka-band solution with the Jet ConneX solution from its recently acquired Inmarsat business.
An expanded range of service options will be available to customers using Viasat's existing GAT-5510 terminal, as well as three upcoming next-generation Jet ConneX terminals, namely Satcom Direct's Plane Simple Ka-band, Orbit's AirTRx30 and Honeywell's JetWave X. These will be available in early 2024 for aircraft equipped with the GAT-5510 and upon entry into service for aircraft with any next-generation Jet ConneX terminal.
Viasat's network has more Ka-band capacity than any other in-flight wi-fi provider, and the innovative technology and lightweight designs of the next-generation terminals optimise performance and reduce costs while also simplifying installation and maintenance.
With fewer line-replaceable units (LRUs), the next-generation terminals are well suited for various types of business jets, making them an excellent choice for aircraft operating globally or within just one region. In addition, these systems are all designed for installation outside of the pressure vessel, saving valuable baggage space.
Business aviation customers that use its SwiftBroadband (SBB) and SwiftJet L-band in-flight connectivity and upgrade to any Viasat Ka-band solution, can benefit from near-term savings and other benefits that SBB offers.
Kai Tang, head of business aviation, says: “We're excited about the positive impact that Viasat's acquisition of Inmarsat will deliver to our business aviation customers. The harmonisation of our Ka-band services is a prime example of what can be achieved by bringing the best of both companies together. It reflects the enhanced service options and innovations that we're bringing to the market, based on direct feedback from customers and partners, to ensure that Viasat continues to exceed passenger expectations around fast, reliable and consistent in-flight connectivity for many years to come.”
Satcom Direct has unveiled an expanded range of Jet ConneX service plans that will equip aircraft with the SD Plane Simple Ka-band tail-mount terminal. The option includes the first ever 'Power by the Hour' option for Jet ConneX, enabling business jet operators to pay an hourly rate for inflight connectivity.
SD president Chris Moore says: “Our goal is to ensure our business aviation customers can benefit from consistent, reliable service. Our Plane Simple Ka-band technology, combined with the new plans and our industry-leading customer support, adds further value to our offering. Customers require flexibility and consistency, and together with Viasat, we are committed to delivering a superior service that aligns with diverse operational budgets and individual customer demands.”
The SD Plane Simple Ka-band terminal will also connect immediately with the GX satellite constellation and be upgradable to Viasat's full Ka-band network, including the Viasat-3 satellites and next generation GX satellites as they come online. This will enhance the long-term return on investment for operators adopting the next-generation terminal and ensure aircraft are future-proofed to stay aligned with evolving connectivity technologies.
Honeywell has simultaneously unveiled its JetWave X next-generation high-speed in-flight connectivity solution. JetWave X will unlock significant increases in data rates for the business aviation industry, enabling access to speeds that exceed increasing passenger demands and the most data-hungry applications of the future, with typical speeds consistently greater than 30 Mbps and as high as 100 Mbps, even in the busiest flight corridors.
“The demand for fast and seamless internet connectivity has been growing rapidly in the business aviation industry as the amount of in-flight data being consumed increases dramatically,” says Jason Wissink, president, services and connectivity, Honeywell Aerospace. “JetWave X will connect to Viasat's current Ka-band network at entry into service, in addition to its upcoming satellites for the network, providing greater flexibility for business jet users. We will also continue to support the current generation of JetWave systems installed and operating today. Current JetWave systems will also experience a performance boost with the existing systems being able to support the higher speeds of new JX Evolution plans.”
“This is an exciting collaboration with Honeywell, resulting in a terminal solution designed specifically for business aviation customers to access advanced, high-speed solutions over Ka-band for a broad range of aircraft, from super-midsized to large cabin business jets,” adds Tang. “Over 5,000 business jets trust in Viasat to deliver fast and consistent connectivity speeds that allow videoconferencing, streaming video, corporate VPN access and more during all phases of flight. Looking ahead, as expectations for in-flight wi-fi performance from flight operators and passengers soar in concert with data demand, Viasat will continue its decades-long history of advancing the gold standard of business jet connectivity with our partners.”