Cabin Connectivity | Viasat

Viasat secured connectivity offering for Bizliners

Cabin connectivity in the Bizliners market is a very critical element as VIP & VVIP including government leaders need to stay connected with their remote teams and make decisions even when cruising at 30,000 feet. James Person, Viasat Sr. Director, Global Business Development for Business and VVIP Aviation tells us more about Viasat’s offering for this very demanding market.
Cabin connectivity in the Bizliners market is a very critical element as VIP & VVIP including government leaders need to stay connected with their remote teams and make decisions even when cruising at 30,000 feet. James Person, Viasat Sr. Director, Global Business Development for Business and VVIP Aviation tells us more about Viasat’s offering for this very demanding market.

ELITE WINGS

MAGAZINE

May | june 2022

ELITE WINGS

BIZLINERS GUIDE

Viasat delivers the end-to-end business aviation connectivity solution for super-mid and large cabin business aircraft. This includes everything from designing and building high-capacity satellites to developing the ground infrastructure that connects to the internet or to corporate private networks to creating the hardware systems, such antennas, terminals and the in-cabin router on an aircraft.

What does this offering mean for business aviation operators? Viasat brings powerful and high-performing internet service in three in-flight connectivity (IFC) solutions — the ideal service depends on a business jet operators needs and the routes you fly. Our most popular Ka-band solution is delivered without speed limits to offer an unrivaled in-flight connectivity experience. Features include:

      • Video conference, browse, stream, email, VPN, and access business applications – in near real time.
      • Virtually connect with colleagues, business teams, family, and friends – wherever you are in the air.
      • Watch your favorite movies and shows, stream live sports and other events, listen to music – all at the same time.

With an ever-evolving threat landscape, communications security, and cybersecurity, in general, are becoming key elements to assess before selecting its cabin connectivity provider. How is Viasat protecting its customer’s sensitive information?

Viasat’s customers represent major financial and technology companies, among others, and of course they all demand the highest levels of data security and integrity.  Fortunately, Viasat is also the provider of connectivity to the US Government senior leadership aircraft.  We apply the same cybersecurity techniques to our business and private aviation customers’ data as we do to our government customers, less the government encryptors, and we are able to use our shared cyber data threat vectors to better serve the security requirements of our commercial customers.  This is an area that Viasat takes very seriously, and fortunately we are in a strong position to keep our customers’ data safe when they fly.

With a large variety in size and passengers’ capacity, what are the different hardware installations available to Bizliners operators?

In the past, perhaps due to limitations on SWaP (size, weight and power) as well as cost of equipment or service, satellite-based high speed connectivity was an option for large cabin and long range aircraft only.  Now with smaller shipsets, such as Viasat’s Ka-band 3-LRU shipsets, super-mid cabin aircraft can now have the same connectivity experience.

      • Viasat’s equipment only requires three line-replaceable units (LRUs).
      • Every component from antenna to modem is optimized for our network.
      • The hardware an operator installs now is forward-compatible with our next-generation network.
      • Equipment can be placed outside of the pressurized cabin, saving luggage compartment space.

What are we at Viasat doing from a technology perspective to prepare for the growing demand for higher speeds? 

One major area of focus is our advanced satellite technology. With each generation of Viasat satellites, we add typically an order of magnitude (that is, at least 10x) the amount of capacity per satellite.  As an example, our first generation Ka-band satellites that Viasat operates, such as WildBlue-1, have on the order of 10 Gbps (gigabit per second) of total throughput capacity.  Our European Ka-band satellite, KA-SAT, has nearly 100 Gbps.  ViaSat-2, which launched in 2017 has over 250 Gbps, and each ViaSat-3 satellite, which are expected to start launching in 2022, have over 1000 Gbps or a terabit per second each of capacity.  And because it’s a Viasat designed shipset, we make our hardware forward compatible, so a Viasat Ka-band shipset installed today will be able to take advantage of advances in our ViaSat-3 constellation when it begins launching next year.

This incredible increase in satellite capacity – and in the smarts of the satellite to adjust that capacity to when and where it is needed – are required to keep up with that never ending demand for higher speeds.