5 Important Facts to Know About Onboard Wifi for Private Jets
There’s nothing like the luxury of being able to be productive from the comfort of a private jet.
Here are some important things to know about onboard wifi.
What if your private jets left everyone feeling isolated from the outside world, not able to send an email or make that conference call?
It’s important for all jets to offer onboard wifi for the benefit of passengers, especially since most private jets are used for business purposes. Unfortunately, many people don’t know the first thing about sky-high wi-fi and aircraft management.
Wondering what you need to know about onboard wifi for your own private jets? Keep reading to discover the answer!
Why Is Onboard Wifi Important?
We’ve put together a very thorough guide to getting wifi on your private planes. First, though, it’s important to establish why wifi on planes is so very important.
- One reason is that we live in an increasingly digital world. Without wifi access, a passenger cannot schedule appointments, sign documents, or do any remote work until the plane reaches its destination. That means it’s worth it to refit your older jets for online access.
- Another reason is that private plane passengers tend to be early adopters of technology. Those who cannot access wifi to play with their latest toys are going to choose another way to travel in the future.
- Finally, onboard wifi helps to simplify the entire process of inflight entertainment. Instead of looking for things like inflight movies, passengers can simply stream their favourite shows and movies for the duration of the flight.
1. Different Kinds of Bands
You may or may not be a tech person at heart. However, you’ll need to learn a bit about online connections and access “bands” to take full advantage of plane wifi.
Mobile Wireless or ATG (air-to-ground)
One of the more basic options for online wifi is mobile wireless. This is sometimes referred to as ATG (air-to-ground) connectivity.
Such wifi works thanks to signals from cellular towers and bases on the ground. However, this means some areas may have limited access or even no access at all (more on this in a minute).
The alternative to mobile wireless is satellite internet that is available in different bands. The “L” band gives you limited internet access, but it is slow and certainly not suited for things like streaming.
If you want faster global access, you need either Ka-Band or Ku-Band. Of the two, Ka-Band is speedier, but each solution is better suited to modern internet browsing than the older “L” band.
Ultimately, the best solution for getting wifi on your plane depends on your particular needs and your specific budget.
2. Satellite vs. Wifi
Obviously, all of this business about different bands can be confusing. Such confusion makes the simple mobile wireless option more attractive. However, is this the best option for you?
The answer is maybe. It all depends on whether most of your private jet travel is domestic or international.
There are plenty of cellular towers and stations throughout the country. So if your travel is limited to domestic flights, mobile wireless is likely to be the simplest solution.
It stops being a viable solution as soon as you become a global traveler.
Why? Because there are no cellular towers or stations in the ocean.
With satellite internet, there is no problem connecting wherever you go. This is because of the network of satellites around the world.
3. It's About More Than Cost
Those who are on the fence about adding onboard wifi to private jets often have a simple question: do the benefits outweigh the costs? In a word, “yes.”
For one thing, the costs are likely lower than you imagine. Things were pricier in the L-band days, but the Ka- and Ku-bands were designed to be more affordable and accessible than their predecessor.
Additionally, it’s tough to put a price tag on productivity. Onboard wifi is about more than simple entertainment. It’s also about letting passengers prepare for meetings, interviews, sales pitches, and more.
Adding wifi ultimately provides the kind of convenience and even luxury that is truly invaluable. For that reason alone, we think this decision should be about more than the raw cost of installation.
4. Comparable Speed
Let’s say you’ve decided to pull the trigger and add wifi to your private jet. This brings up an obvious question: how fast will your connection really be?
Just as with home internet, the exact answer depends on factors like your service and equipment as well as available satellites. However, most forms of online wifi will offer similar levels of speed and convenience to your home connection.
Generally speaking, you can stream “on demand” content so long as you have an internet speed of at least 3.0 mbps. Such speed may be difficult for the L-band, though, for it was designed to help users check their e-mail.
You will have to pay a higher rate for faster speeds. This is a good plan if you hope to accommodate multiple passengers or simply want a speedier connection for yourself.
5. Versatility While Traveling
Onboard wifi is about more than adding convenience to your private jet. It’s about making an investment in the future.
It’s easy enough to imagine a number of ways that online access improves your air travel. But we literally cannot imagine all of the important internet developments and applications that will happen in the next few years.
Without access to the internet, neither you nor your passengers will be able to experience these innovations while flying. And it won’t be long before every flight makes you feel as if you’re stuck in the past.
6. The Right Plan
In some ways, choosing wifi for your private jet is like choosing wifi for your home. This is especially true when it comes to selecting the right plan.
Typically, you can pay for anywhere between 30 and 100 GB per month. Figuring out which plan is best involves determining how often you fly, how many passengers you have, and what you plan to do online.
30GB or 100GB?
For example, the 30 GB plan is good for sending e-mails and limited SD streaming. But someone wanting to stream lots of HD video or conduct frequent HD video calls will likely need the 100 GB plan.