Aditya Chatterjee, Senior Vice President, Product Management, Aviation for SES answers Elite Wings’ questions
Give us an idea of the scope of experience and expertise SES brings to connectivity across the aviation market?
SES is the world’s leading satellite operator and a major force and enabler in the world of mobility. Our growing global network of satellites play a huge role in delivering inflight connectivity to business and commercial flights – keeping passengers connected with high-speed broadband for everything from business calls to email, gaming, live TV, and web browsing in the sky.
For well over a decade, SES has worked with leading IFC service providers to not only enable airlines to improve their overall connected traveler experience, but also allow their flight crews and even their connected aircraft to operate far more efficiently. Airlines can track the most popular passenger meal choices in real-time to ensure they never run out of the trending dishes, for example, and pilots can monitor real-time weather from the cockpit to avoid rough conditions for a smoother flight.
SES operates over 50 satellites in Geosynchronous (GEO) and another 20 in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO), which will play a vital role in a new era of next-gen inflight connectivity capabilities aboard both business and commercial jets.
In fact, SES and Thales were the first to demonstrate seamless switching between GEO and MEO satellite beams aboard a business jet in the fall of 2019, opening the door to tailored IFC connectivity from layers of satellite capacity in multiple orbits.
Now SES is working with a broad range of technology partners, including Thales and Collins, to take inflight connectivity to the next level
What is your vision of connectivity growth on the horizon and how it will address the special needs for corporate aviation?
SES continues to innovate and invest in our robust global network across multiple bands and orbits with the goal of enabling a connected travel experience in the sky like the one we all have come to rely on and enjoy on the ground.
That connected journey will be seamlessly like the one we count on at home or in the office. When you get to the airport and on the plane, you will have the same level of connectivity wherever you go. And when you depart the plane and board a cruise ship, that connected journey continues without any issues.
We started doing much of that today in collaboration with Collins Aerospace and our LuxStream inflight connectivity service specifically designed and delivered for business aviation. LuxStream is already installed across Vista Global’s fleet of Bombardier Global business jets, with the goal to provide an exceptional connected
private jet experience delivered over SES’ high-throughput-satellites (HTS) and wide beam satellites and state-of-the-art ground infrastructure.
LuxStream addresses the dynamic business aviation market by enabling even the most discerning business executives to have the same communications capabilities they have in their office during flight aboard their business jet.
Is a Ku-band network offering still relevant for corporate aviation versus a Ka-band or Low Earth Orbit constellation?
SES is laser focused on enabling a great passenger experience, whether it’s over Ku- or Ka-band. All of these bands are not only relevant but mission critical to our ability to enable the next gen needs of aviation services.
SES continues to invest in a vast global network that delivers C-band, Ku-band, and Ka-band capacity in support of the aviation market – from GEO and MEO orbits. We are on the verge of initiating aviation service aboard one of the most powerful satellites ever built, SES-17, which will provide high-powered Ka-band coverage for the inflight connectivity market in partnership with Thales InFlyt.
SES operates today the only commercially proven non-geostationary (NGSO) constellation delivering the lowest latencies and highest throughputs. We will also launch our O3b mPOWER constellation this year, our next-generation, ultra-scalable satellite communication system in MEO orbit, that will ultimately enable us to further close the gap between your connected experience at home and in a passenger seat aboard a business and commercial jet.
How do you ensure that the LuxStream offering is competitive now and in the future?
Business jet travelers are among the most discerning travelers in the world and have high expectations when it comes to connectivity services in flight. LuxStream has been designed and developed with elite flyers in mind.
SES and Collins have raised the bar for inflight connectivity with a future-proof solution that allows us to accelerate the availability of next-gen services, such as cloud-based enterprise applications and streaming media, on business jet flights.
Mobile users are consuming an explosive amount of data on the ground and in the air and creating new pressures for the private aviation market. LuxStream is powered by SES’s next-gen Ku-band HTS and wide beam satellite technology that drives an exceptional connectivity experience that can quickly and easily be tailored to the individual needs of business aviation providers wherever they fly.
That future-proof platform allows us to deliver new enhanced services on the fly – staying ahead of the big demands of the business jet set.
What can you share about the LuxStream Offering Readiness?
LuxStream is proven and deployed across a number of business jet fleets in the US and around the world, with Vista Global carrying out the first LuxStream installations.
LuxStream provides the highest download speeds in the business aviation market, the newest high throughput satellites, next-generation ground system, and a global business aviation network.