How will you use the service?
This may still seem like a simple question but it does have a major impact on your choices. Do you plan to fly very often? Or do you fly randomly with no frequency? Are you doing charter operations with various users with various needs for bandwidth? The answers to those questions will influence the choices of service.
All services offer bandwidth at the best price per Mb when you sign yearly contracts. The contract and a commitment to large packages can even get you the unlimited streaming offered by Viasat KA. This is ideal if you have a need for that much data. But if you are not flying that often, it does not make sense to write checks for data usage when the aircraft is not flying.
This is where there is another valuable difference between the services.
- JX packages include one-year and two-year contracts of various speeds and allotments.
- LuxStream from Collins offers the same plans as both JX and Viasat along with an a la carte plan where you only pay for what you use. The real advantage is that if there is no data usage the subscriber is only billed for the minimum monthly service fee. But when the service is needed, it is there.
- Viasat KA has similar plans but also offers monthly subscriptions allowing the subscriber to avoid long-term contracts.
What are the installation and hardware costs?
Ultimately, part of the decision may already be decided for you. To keep the installation charges down, it is best to choose a service that already has an STC for your aircraft. Many aircraft have access to all 3 services while some may only have 1 or 2. Our sales team will be glad to provide you with more information about which services are available for your aircraft.
In short, we recommend reviewing your goals for high-speed services so that you can weigh the unique characteristics of each service as it applies to your specific needs. The ability to match those goals along with the cost of installation and operation will go a long way to a positive experience for your passengers.