ViaSat Inc., a global broadband services and technology company, announced today an updated in-flight connectivity service plan for large cabin business jet users. The Company also unveiled an advanced migration plan for business jet customers that want to upgrade their current system to the more advanced Ka-band broadband service, based on ViaSat’s latest generation ViaSat-2 technology and satellite system.
Doubling Current In-flight Connectivity Speeds
ViaSat is proud to bring business jet users a new in-flight connectivity service plan that will support even more users, more devices and more applications when in-flight. While ViaSat’s current service plan (offering 2 Mbps download speeds) supports full internet streaming, web browsing, email and more, the plan announced today doubles download speeds to 4 Mbps, enables even more devices to simultaneously access the ViaSat network and provides a better quality of service for streaming content in high definition as compared to standard definition. Competitive service offerings are just now catching up to ViaSat’s first-generation Ku-band service and older L-band systems have fallen considerably behind, offering system speeds that are more than nine times slower. All ViaSat data plans are a fixed monthly fee, allowing customers to have greater cost savings and predictability over traditional ‘per megabyte’ plans.
Easy Upgrade to ViaSat’s Fastest Ka-band Service
ViaSat also made strong progress on the development of its next-generation Ka-band in-flight connectivity equipment for the large cabin business jet market. The Company has successfully demonstrated its Global Aero Terminal 5510 shipset (Ka-band antenna and modem). The new terminal has operated over-the-air across ViaSat’s Ka-band satellite system, which means the shipset will tap into the highest capacity satellite network in the world, giving business aviation customers access to the fastest industry speeds.
Expected to be certified in the second half of 2017, ViaSat’s equipment will enable the industry’s best data plans with peak rates of 16 Mbps on all plans and access to both Ka- and Ku- data included in one low monthly service fee. ViaSat offers the highest committed information rates on comparable plans.
In addition, the new Ka-band shipset has the same compact, sleek footprint as ViaSat’s current terminal, which is significantly smaller than the competition. This means multiple advantages over competing systems:
Enhanced Cost Savings: Due to the smaller size of the ViaSat system, the overall installed system weight can be significantly lower, offering fuel savings.
Better Cabin Space Management: The shipset does not require space in the luggage compartment, as the system was designed to be installed in the non-pressurized areas of the aircraft. Competing systems occupy room in the tail and the luggage or other pressurized areas.
Added Redundancy: The size allows room for ViaSat’s Ka- and Ku-band antennas to be installed together in the tail, providing a strong back-up communications network – across more than 90% of the world’s most popular flight paths.
“If there’s one trend that’s constant, it’s that business jet passengers and crew members want to use more internet-based applications across more devices simultaneous when in-flight,” said Ken Peterman, president, Government Systems, ViaSat. “We are ensuring a future-proofed system for business aviation that will tap into current and future ViaSat Ka-band satellites to enable a best-in-class in-flight connectivity service. Before transitioning customers to our more advanced Ka-band service, we are putting new Ku-band service plans in place that double in-flight connectivity speeds and give even greater support for more reliable streaming onboard. Then, when our equipment is available at the end of this year, we plan to easily enable large cabin business jet passengers to join the millions of people using our high-speed, high-quality service.”
Certified units of the Global Aero Terminal 5510 shipset will be available for early access partners and customers in the second half of 2017, with volume production units available in early 2018.