ViaSat Launches Faster In-Flight Connectivity for Bizjets

The ViaSat-2 service will offer passengers in large cabin business jets higher in-flight wireless connection speeds. ViaSat

ViaSat will soon launch its ViaSat-2 service, allowing large cabin bizjets to provide even higher connection speeds to users in flight. The service is an upgrade to ViaSat’s already capable system, which provides Ku- and Ka-band satellite coverage.

The company has been demonstrating its capabilities at its booth at the NBAA Business Aviation Convention and Expo this week in Las Vegas. Visitors were able to video chat with an employee at the company’s home base in Carlsbad, California, showcasing the high-speed videoconferencing capabilities of the system.

In addition to videoconferencing, users can expect similar connection speeds as in the office or home, allowing for uses such as TV, music and movie streaming; VPN connectivity; web browsing; and the ability to send large files via email.

Unlike some in-flight Internet services, ViaSat’s connectivity does not degrade with an increased number of users, providing high-speed service at all times in the serviceable areas. ViaSat claims its coverage includes 90 percent of the world’s most popular flight routes, with either Ka- or Ku-band satellite coverage. The coverage will expand even further with the ViaSat-2 and ViaSat-3 satellites, which is expected to launch in 2020.

The Global Aero Terminal 5510 hardware is compact, weighs in at 55 pounds and costs around $400,000 installed. The modem is capable of delivering Internet speeds are as fast as 1 Gigabit per second. It is available now and is compatible with all of ViaSat’s satellite constellations, providing a future proof system. ViaSat currently offers four data plans ranging from 30 GB to 100 GB of data, all providing speeds of up to 16 Megabits per second. Plans start at $7,000 per month. By 2020, speeds will increase to an unimaginable 32 Megabits per second.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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