Best in class

Discover why Jet ConneX has become the gold standard of global business aviation connectivity

Since launching in 2016, Jet ConneX, Inmarsat’s inflight connectivity solution for business aviation, has established itself as the go-to, next-generation service. Its capabilities – designed for a demanding high net worth demographic – has seen it become the market-leading service, providing a seamless digital transition for its users from the ground to the air.

That means they expect to continue the call they were on as they boarded. They expect to check emails, have video conferencing, use online tools to prepare a presentation, handle VPN file transfers, allow their kids to access live gaming and VR or even relax and watch a live Champions League game. And this level of connectivity requires a world-beating solution.

How the best got better

Step forward, Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX, which offers the most extensive global coverage from any business aviation provider. Wherever the principals want to fly, there is guaranteed coverage. What’s more, Inmarsat can target areas that need extra capacity. Quite simply, it’s a bespoke solution designed for the exacting demands of the business aviation sector.

As Kai Tang, Inmarsat Aviation Senior Vice President, says: “Our customers can rest easy because they know their principal will have a consistent, seamless experience wherever in the world they're flying. At any point, at any time, they can count on that same reliability and that same consistent performance. And that's something that we really pride ourselves on at Inmarsat: that reliable, consistent experience that the passenger and the user gets.”

Since launch, the industry response to Jet ConneX has been overwhelmingly positive. There have been over 600 installations – and rising – and the market-leading business jet OEMs – Gulfstream, Bombardier and Dassault – use the solution as their preferred line-fit option. Indeed, Gulfstream recently installed the service for the 300th time.

 And the best has just got better. Always striving to retain its market-leading crown, Inmarsat launched a new high-end package – JX Pro – to satisfy the demands of data-hungry business flyers and the demanding applications they need to run.

Pilot boarding Aircraft

Announcing JX Pro, Melinda Janda, Inmarsat Aviation’s Vice President of Commercial Strategy, said: “More and more business aviation customers are expressing an interest in upgrading to a faster, all-inclusive connectivity package, so it was natural for us to introduce JX-Pro to meet that demand. We have the fastest global network and we can deliver the fastest speeds in the business aviation market. So we are essentially opening the top off, so that people can take full advantage of the JX system.”

Speaking at APEX 2019 recently, Tang admitted that the new upgrade had been well received. “There are a lot of folks there who like the higher speed,” he said. “They know that they can now depend on Inmarsat to listen to feedback from the industry and be able to respond to that.”

However, he was quick to reiterate that its Jet ConneX’s consistency and reliability that shines brightest for these principals. “(It’s) really the first factor that is considered and is the reason for adopting Jet ConneX,” he said.

An ambitious, fully-funded roadmap with innovation at its heart

Unsurprisingly, the world of business aviation doesn’t sit still. As principals comprehensively digitise their lives, the demand on capacity and security assurances will only increase. Business jets that can’t meet their requirements will miss out. Playing catch-up is not an option.

To that end, Inmarsat’s fully-funded roadmap has already been drawn. Later this year (2019), the increasing demand for coverage over Europe and the Middle East will be met with the launch of our next-generation satellite, GX5. This will offer thousands of dynamic beams which can, when required, be focused to increase capacity on a single aircraft.

Looking ahead, in 2021 and 2022, Inmarsat’s I-6 F1 and F2 satellites will offer Ka and L-band dual payloads globally. These will meet growing demand and support 5G which is pivotal for both the future of mobile communications and the Internet of Things.

The same period will see the launch of the ground-breaking GX7, 8 and 9 satellites. These will represent a transformative step-change in inflight broadband capabilities. able to deliver thousands of spot beams simultaneously and to instantly provide more capacity where it is lacking. They will be a true solution to fluid demand and, what’s more, they are programmable remotely. They’re also high modular and easy to produce and launch in batches, which makes it easier and faster to deliver more long-term overall capacity when and where it’s needed.

In 2023, two new satellite payloads offering inflight connectivity for aircraft flying in higher elevations will also launch. These payloads, GX10A & 10B, will travel in long looping orbits over the poles and will deliver much better, more reliable coverage over the Arctic, which is currently the only area where the possibility of outages exists. The satellites, which will seamlessly integrate into the GX network, will mean Inmarsat’s redundancy and resilience is truly global.

Tang believes that Inmarsat’s 40-year heritage in mobile connectivity ensures that innovation is front and centre.

“We hope that we are the ones that are inspiring innovation and inspiring competition so that we continue to push the boundaries,” he explains. “And I think that’s something that you're going to start to see with GX5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 being announced. Inmarsat is going to continue to be the leader in this space and then continue to be the inspiration for even more innovation in this market and provide the best that we all collectively can for the end users.”

Indeed, when it comes to the coverage offered by Inmarsat’s satellites, Tang says that this is the beginning of the end for things like coverage maps. If customers ask for a coverage map in the future, Tang proudly states that they’re going to be shown a map of the world.

Of course none of this could be achieved without Inmarsat’s long-established global partner ecosystem. Thanks to the expertise offered by the likes of Collins Aerospace, Honeywell and Satcom Direct the success of Jet ConneX is assured.

“They are the backbone,” says Tang. “They are the ones on the street representing Inmarsat capability as well as their value proposition to the customers. And we couldn't do it without them."

And the feedback these partners receive from customers, in turn informs future roadmaps.

Tang says: “We use that (feedback) to invest in future architectures, not only the satellites but the ground segment, the network, the fibre connectivity and the terminals that they need.”

Shaping the future of connectivity

A connectivity solution for business aviation has to offer many capabilities. Speed, reliability, seamless global coverage, flexibility, capacity and consistency all have to be the best of the best. Every detail of the principal’s experience must be flawless and secure. Whether that’s browsing and streaming or gaming and teleconferencing, they expect to be as productive and entertained in the sky as they are on the ground.

The complexity of offering such a service shouldn’t be underestimated. In the years to come the demands placed upon such solutions will increase exponentially. Of course, the principals will just expect everything to work. They will not compromise on perfection. And that’s what Inmarsat strives to offer on every aircraft, every time.