NBAA: ViaSat showcases in-flight connectivity solutions

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James Person, ViaSat's Director, Global Business Development, General Aviation, and its diminutive Ka antenna.
James Person, ViaSat’s Director, Global Business Development, General Aviation, and its diminutive Ka antenna.

With the ViaSat-2 service launch set for 2018, ViaSat says it is bringing in-flight connectivity solutions to market today that will help large cabin business jets easily transition to what is expected to be the fastest in-cabin internet service, with the most available data.

Jerry Goodwin, Vice President, Network Services, ViaSat, said: “Wi-Fi is a must for business jets that fly globally. Our goal is to make connecting to the in-cabin internet system effortless for our current and future large cabin business jet customers.

“With access to ViaSat’s complete satellite communications network, business jet passengers, pilots and crew can expect a home- or office-like internet experience.

“Our in-cabin connectivity solution can effectively scale to meet the broadband needs of the business traveler today and well into the future.”

Today, ViaSat covers over 90% of the world’s most popular flight routes using a combination of its global Ku-band and Ka-band networks.

Following service launch of the ViaSat-2 satellite, its global network will expand with additional high-speed connectivity available over North America, Central America, the Caribbean and a portion of northern South America, as well as the primary aeronautical and maritime routes across the Atlantic Ocean, which effectively bridges to the ViaSat Ka-band coverage over Europe and the Mediterranean Basin.

ViaSat expects to have even more Ka-band coverage available in approximately three years, when its ViaSat-3 ultra-high capacity satellite platform begins service launch.

The ViaSat-3 constellation comprises three satellites, with the first two satellites providing Ka-band coverage over the Americas and the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions, respectively.

A third ViaSat-3 satellite is planned for the Asia Pacific region. Each ViaSat-3 class satellite is expected to deliver more than 1-Terabit per second of network capacity, and to leverage high levels of flexibility to dynamically direct capacity to meet customer demand.

ViaSat says it is demonstrating its most advanced Ka-band business aviation solution – a fourth-generation satellite shipset, the Global Aero Terminal 5510, at this week’s NBAA event.

It says the shipset offers:

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Fastest Internet Speeds: Modem capable of delivering up to 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) speeds to the aircraft, allowing business jet owners to take advantage of the advanced capabilities expected from its current and next-generation satellite platforms.

Largest Data Allocations: Offering four new service plans – the Ultra30, Ultra40, Ultra60 and Ultra100 plans – with 30GB, 40GB, 60GB and 100GB of data, respectively. All plans provide high peak speeds up to 16 Megabits per second (Mbps) regardless of plan type.

Enhanced Network Redundancy: Dual antenna installation, one for primary service and a second for back-up communications, provides a “best available network” service and ensures passengers and crew are virtually connected anywhere they travel. Competing solutions leave no room under the radome for a redundant connectivity solution.

Smaller Size: The shipset consists of only three LRUs, which does not require space in the baggage compartment, as the system was designed to be installed in the non-pressurised areas of the aircraft. Many competing systems require ventilated cabinets in the baggage compartment. With a smaller system there is less overall system weight, which can often translate into significant fuel savings.

Cost-effective IPTV (internet protocol television) Services: Offering access to popular live TV channels using the aircraft’s internet system without using the purchased data plan. This service is a separately purchased plan, which can mean significant in-flight internet cost savings to the end-user and does not require a separate shipset for TV.

Future-Proofed Hardware to Meet Broadband Demand: Providing forward and backward compatibility, it’s the only business aviation shipset that enables access to the satellite network, from ViaSat-1, ViaSat-2 and the upcoming ViaSat-3 constellation.

The Global Aero Terminal 5510 shipset is available and expected to complete all certifications across airframe types beginning in the first half of 2018. OEM and MRO value-added resellers are signing up for the shipset today.

The company says it has created a compelling migration strategy to provide a near-seamless transition to the Company’s best in-cabin connectivity solution. The migration plan, which is available now, includes:

More Data, Faster Service, Same Price: ViaSat’s current global Ku-band service plan offering will now include significantly larger data allocations – providing up to six times the amount of monthly data – and speeds up to 6Mbps, at very compelling price points.

By providing more data and faster speeds it says customers can use ‘office in the sky’ applications, and migrate to ViaSat’s Ka-band service package when it is right for them.

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