Posted on: 27 October 2014 by Ross McSweeny
ViaSat Inc. has added network capacity and increased the performance of its Yonder in-flight internet service in order to bring its ‘Exede in the Air’ solution to business aviation customers.
The improvements to Yonder come as a result of ViaSat introducing a Ka-band shipset with a tail-mounted antenna designed to deliver high-performance Ka-band in-flight mobile services. The shipset uses the AeroMobile Terminal 5230 (AMT-5230) which is already employed by government aircraft.
The Ka-band antenna system is the same compact size and uses the same aircraft wiring as the ViaSat Yonder Ku-band antenna. It also embraces a new, single radome that allows flexibility for Ka- and/or Ku-band antennas, which enables an aircraft to connect to the best service available depending on its location.
The company compares the speeds of Yonder’s upgraded in-flight internet service to those available on JetBlue and United airlines, having recently carried out flight tests with multiple devices simultaneously using high-bandwidth applications such as multi-site videoconferencing, social media, and live streaming of HD TV and movies while switching between Ku and Ka satellites.
Leo Conboy, business area director for ViaSat general aviation, explained, “This is another step in the transition to the next generation of in-flight performance that customers are looking for. People who use Exede’s in-flight service love it. In fact, JetBlue celebrated one million connected devices in September, and that’s in only 10 months since the launch of service and just now reaching 70 aircraft with the service installed.”
“With more than 500 aircraft on our near-global footprint for Ku-band Yonder service, we’ll continue to meet the needs of ultra-long range business jets while adding Exede Ka-band services for high-density flight routes over North America, Europe, the Mediterranean, and northern Africa,” Conboy concluded.
The AMT-5230 is expected to be available through ViaSat MRO and completion centre resellers from June 2015.