The top four things you need to know about Ka-band Connectivity

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No matter what conference you attend, publication you read or blog you follow – it seems like everyone is talking about on-board connectivity. Why? Because it’s clear that passengers want the ability to do the same thing they do on the ground (send and receive emails, check social media, watch movies, etc.) in the air. With so much information available and key technologies changing on just about a daily basis, it can be difficult to understand the benefits each type of connectivity technology has to offer.

With that being said, operators still need to cut through the clutter to understand the best solution for their aircraft. One of the top connectivity providers in this space is Inmarsat. In 2008, Inmarsat launched SwiftBroadband. At the time, it provided the fastest high-speed connectivity available in business aviation. And while it’s still one of the most effective means of cabin connectivity, a new generation has arrived – Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX (JX).

JX operates over the Ka-band satellite network, a major leap forward in terms of speed and reliability. Each of the network’s three I-5 satellites operate 89 highly efficient Ka-band spot beams. A foundation layer of global coverage is capable of providing up to 50 Mbps to fuselage mounted, and 33 Mbps to tail mounted, antennas. What does this mean? It means that JX provides passengers and crew with nearly the same connectivity experience in flight as they have in their homes and offices. A fourth I-5 satellite – when launched in the future – will provide even more capacity and redundancy.

If the possibility of high-speed, seamless connectivity is something you’re interested in, here are four things to keep in mind about Inmarsat’s JX and Ka-band technology:

1) It is backed by a fully redundant ground network.
The Inmarsat Ka-band network is supported by a fully redundant ground infrastructure, ensuring network availability of 95 percent or greater. What does that mean? This optimized ground network protects against outages from functional failures and fade events, meaning less service interference.

2) The service offers a consistent, reliable, high quality connection.
Because of the satellite network’s combination of spot and steerable beams, Ka-band provides operators with a more consistent, reliable and high quality connection. As noted previously, the three, I-5 satellites create a foundational layer of worldwide coverage. Capacity is supplemented by the network’s unique steerable beams, which means that the busiest flight routes are always covered, even during peak periods.

3) Users can expect higher throughput.
Ka-band operates at a higher frequency, which enables up to 10x more throughput. As a result, JX delivers higher bandwidth per aircraft, which means Ka-band has much more potential to support the ever-growing customer demand for bandwidth.

4) You can expect guaranteed Committed Information Rates (CIR).
JX is the only service with guaranteed CIRs. Each subscription has a defined CIR which is the minimum throughput guaranteed to each subscriber. JX is able to offer this guarantee due to its global coverage.

As the market continues to evolve, there will always be new and different offerings to consider. No matter what technology you choose, one of the most important decisions you make is about selecting the right service provider. If you’re thinking about adding on-board connectivity and have questions, ARINCDirectSM can help you determine the best solution for your needs.

Read more about author Audrey Ndengue.

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