Viasat Launches Direct-to-Customer In-Flight Connectivity Service for Business Jets
Viasat launched a direct and customizable Ka-band In-flight Connectivity (IFC) service for business aviation on Monday called Viasat Select.
The Carlsbad, California-based satellite and telecommunications operator said that Viasat Select’s connectivity plans include: global and regional unlimited plans; custom-tailored plans to meet a business aircraft’s specific operational needs; and entry-level service and regional plans that price less than $3,ooo.
Viasat said the new service’s connectivity speeds would be similar to those offered to its customers on the ground — “typically with speeds greater than 20 Mbps. In fact, some operators with Viasat Ka-band IFC have reported speeds greater than 80 Mbps,” the company said in the new service announcement.
Viasat Select will utilize the company’s current cross-regional capacity, as well as that of its future global constellation, ViaSat-3, scheduled to launch next year. Viasat said that while launching a direct service would simplify business for its business jet clients, it would also continue to offer Ka-band service through its value-added reseller (VAR) network.
“We’re launching Viasat Select at a time when there is incredible demand for In-Flight Connectivity and just before we bring an immense amount of additional Ka-band capacity to market with our next-generation satellite constellation,” said Viasat Business Aviation Director Claudio D’Amico. “Operators overwhelmingly told us that selecting products in the market with data and speed caps was a key challenge for In-Flight Connectivity. With Viasat Select, we can eliminate those constraints by leveraging our capacity while offering unmatched economics since we manage the service from end-to-end.”
Viasat was one of the first satellite operators to self-brand it’s IFC service and is joining those who are moving past VARs to directly serve end users. Another satellite operator, Intelsat, acquired Gogo’s Commercial Aviation division in August 2020 and then re-branded it “Intelsat” this past July. Intelsat has benefited from the move, which has allowed it to build off of Gogo’s previous business relationships with airlines such as Air France.
Viasat itself is in the midst of a growth spurt. In August, the company reported record revenue of $665 million during the first quarter of its 2022 fiscal year, a 25% increase from the same time last year, due to top-line increases across all segments and closing its recent acquisitions of RigNet and Euro Broadband Infrastructure (EBI).