October 17 2023  |  Connectivity & Satellites

Viasat enhances inflight broadband service options

By Robynne Trueman

Passenger enjoying inflight connectivity (Photo by Viasat)

Viasat Inc. has unveiled its enhanced business aviation inflight broadband service options for those using its Viasat Ka-band solution and its Jet conneX solution (from recently acquired Inmarsat business).

According to the press release, an expanded range of service options will be available using the existing GAT-5510 terminal in early 2024 and upon entry into serivce for aircraft using the three next generation Jet ConneX terminals. The upcoming Jet ConneX terminals are Satcom Direct’s Plane Simple Ka-band, Orbit’s AirTRx30 and Honeywell’s JetWave X.

The enhanced connectivity services were developed based on user and partner feedback with the goal of delivering greater flexibility and maintaining a consistent broadband experience for passengers, Viasat shared in an October 17 press release.

The company also said that Viasat’s network has more Ka-band capacity than any other inflight Wi-Fi provider, along with lightweight designs for optimal performance and reduced costs. The design of the network also simplifies installation and maintenance.

According to the press release, the next-generation terminals have fewer line replaceable units (LRUs) and are well-suited for business jets, including smaller aircraft or those with large cabins. Viasat’s systems preserve baggage space because they are installed outside of the pressure vessel.

Viasat also announced a business aviation incentive to upgrade to Viaisat Ka-band solutions when using SwiftBroadband (SBB) and SwiftJet L-band inflight connectivity, both of which are part of its recent Inmarsat acquisition.

“We’re excited about the positive impact that Viasat’s acquisition of Inmarsat will deliver to our business aviation customers. The harmonization of our Ka-band services is a prime example of what can be achieved by bringing the best of both companies together,” said Kai Tang, Head of Business Aviation at Viasat. “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.”

Viasat shared in its press release that in addition to receiving user and partner feedback, the company also conducted a survey among business aviation professionals in partnership with Corporate Jet Investor (CJI).

The survey revealed that the most important factor for selecting a connectivity solution was consistent performance, closely followed by 100 percent route coverage. High speeds were the third most important factor in the decision making process, according to the survey.

Seventy percent of the survey respondents said that improved passenger experience was the main advantage of installing a connectivity solution in their aircraft, explained the October 17 press release.

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