New Satcom Direct plans for Viasat Jet ConneX broadband


Satcom Direct (SD) has unveiled an expanded range of service plans for Viasat’s Jet ConneX inflight broadband service.

The new service plans will be made exclusively available to SD operators, equipping their aircraft with the SD Plane Simple Ka-band tail-mount terminal. The option includes a ‘power-by-the-hour’ option for Jet ConneX, enabling business jet operators to pay an hourly rate for inflight connectivity.

SD said that the new service plans offer streamlined global connectivity for more aircraft owners worldwide, with compact hardware that requires minimally invasive installation.

The terminal, which is purpose-built for business aviation, consists of two line-replaceable units (LRUs) – a tail-mount antenna with a reduced footprint and the SD Modem Unit, which sits in the unpressurised part of the fuselage, saving cabin space.

SD said that in combination with the new service plans, including the power-by-the-hour options, with Viasat it was making more powerful Ka-band connectivity available for more aircraft sizes than ever before.

“Our goal is to ensure our business aviation customers can benefit from consistent, reliable service,” said Chris Moore, SD president. “Our Plane Simple Ka-band technology, combined with the new plans and our industry-leading customer support, adds further value to our offering. Customers require flexibility and consistency, and together with Viasat, we are committed to delivering a superior service that aligns with diverse operational budgets and individual customer demands.”

In addition to the new service plans, SD and Viasat confirmed that the SD Plane Simple Ka-band terminal will connect immediately with the GX satellite constellation, launched by Viasat’s recently acquired Inmarsat business. The terminal will be upgradable to Viasat’s full Ka-band network, including the ViaSat-3 satellites and next-generation GX satellites as they come online.

“Our continued joint innovation with Satcom Direct delivers seamless, global connectivity solutions that meet and exceed customer expectations,” said Kai Tang, head of business aviation, Viasat. “With the strength of our next-generation satellite network and the advanced hardware technology of our partner, we can continue to provide exceptional connectivity experiences for business aviation passengers.”

The new service plans will enter commercial service once flight testing of the SD Plane Simple Ka-band terminal is finalised and required regulatory certification is confirmed, which is anticipated to be granted in early 2024.

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