Inmarsat announced that its new range of service plans for the Jet ConneX inflight broadband solution will be supported by Satcom Direct’s Plane Simple Ka-band terminal. Building on the long-standing commercial relationship with Inmarsat, SD will act as both as a distribution partner for the airtime and developer of the advanced tail-mount terminal.
The terminal will be compatible with new Jet ConneX service plans that were launched this week as part of Inmarsat’s JX Evolution programme. Available to order now, the new plans include packages that exclusively use next-generation Jet ConneX terminals, such as SD’s Plane Simple Ka-band antenna system, and deliver the fastest-ever speeds by the service.
These are designed to enable passengers to simultaneously connect more devices and enjoy unchallenged access to the most data-hungry applications, including high-definition video conferencing, without compromising on service consistency, reliability, resilience and seamless global availability.
Ongoing flight tests of the SD Plane Simple Ka-band antenna on board the SD Gulfstream G550 aircraft are exceeding expectations, it was noted. Conducted under an aircraft-specific supplemental type certificate, the trials are validating the hardware’s compatibility with Jet ConneX, which is powered by Inmarsat’s global Ka-band satellite network. Data collected will enable performance optimisation before type approval, which is anticipated in Q3 2023.
“The results of our flight testing have been outstanding and we are now close to securing type approval for its use on Inmarsat’s global Ka-band satellite network, no easy feat in what is a very stringent process,” said Chris Moore, SD president. “We are excited to offer our customers the new JX Evolution plans, which will be supported by our Plane Simple Ka-band antenna, and are confident that strong demand will further strengthen our position as the leading service provider of Inmarsat’s ultra-high-speed business aviation services.”
“Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX was first launched six years ago,” said Kai Tang, head of business aviation, Inmarsat. “In this time has earned its reputation as the gold standard for business aviation inflight broadband. However, as passenger expectations around connectivity evolve, it is imperative that we stay one step ahead, working side-by-side with important and trusted partners like Satcom Direct.”
“Our relationship with SD works so well because we share an unwavering commitment to delight our customers and meet their connectivity needs for years to come,” said Tang. “These latest service plans are a prime example of how we are raising the bar by combining the power of SD’s Plane Simple Ka-band Antenna System and our fast-growing global satellite network, with seven more payloads entering service by 2025.”
SD’s Plane Simple Ka-band antenna system is the latest development in more than 25 years of working with Inmarsat. As a distribution partner for Jet ConneX, the company has already activated the service on close to 1,000 business jets across the world. The development of its first terminal for Jet ConneX builds on this momentum and reinforces its long-term commitment to the service.
Consisting of two line-replaceable units (LRUs) – the tail-mount antenna and SD Modem Unit – the terminal will enable dual polarity transmissions using Inmarsat’s latest satellites, doubling the amount of resource it can access to unlock the enhanced capacity and speed of Jet ConneX’s new service plans.
Dual polarity capabilities have already been validated as part of SD’s ongoing test flights using Inmarsat’s GX5 satellite over Europe and the Middle East. The functionality will also be available with the upcoming Inmarsat GX7, 8 and 9 satellites, which are due to be launched from 2025. Each power around twice the total capacity of the entire current GX network. Business aviation customers will be able to enjoy this boost in performance using SD’s Plane Simple Ka-band Antenna System.