CONTINUING EFFECTS OF THE CONNECTIVITY SERVICE AGREEMENT
Cliff Scott, Gulfstream Technical Operations Supervisor, has been with Gulfstream Aerospace for 40 years. He currently heads up the Cabin Communications team within Gulfstream Technical Operations (Tech Ops). He played a key role on the selection committee that lead to the Connectivity Service Agreement, adding requirements that would best support their customers. We asked Cliff a few questions about how the Gulfstream Connectivity Service Agreement has affected his team.
SD: What has this agreement added to your team?
Cliff: Cabin Communications fields all calls from Gulfstream customers concerning the connectivity on their airplane. This agreement has added many features and benefits to help us assist them on these calls.
The creation of the Gulfstream Virtual Networks Operations Center (VNOC), located in the Savannah Service Center, has allowed for data sharing between the SD Networks Operations Center (NOC) and Gulfstream VNOC. The SDPro platform serves as the backbone for the data sharing.
Training wise, all Cabin Communications team members have taken (and passed the certification test), or are scheduled to take, the SD aeroIT certification class. In addition to the aeroIT class an exchange program was created for employees of SD and Gulfstream to gain experience at the other organization’s NOC.
SD: How have these features benefited your team?
Cliff: The collaboration has been instrumental in allowing us to be proactive in addressing issues customers may not be aware of. This can prevent high cost of operation and/or create additional time in troubleshooting an issue.
When Gulfstream is looking at an issue we have direct communication with SD via Freshdesk, our joint ticketing system. It allows us to collaborate on next steps etc. If SD opens a ticket when they are contacted by a customer, Gulfstream is immediately notified of the issue.
Due to networking requirements of an aircraft cabin’s Local Area Network (LAN) configuration, it is necessary to have a good understanding of Network Engineering fundamentals. The aeroIT certification course has been very valuable in teaching the different IT network configurations that are installed in Gulfstream aircraft and how they provide the gateway to the Wide Area Network (WAN). It has given the team the necessary knowledge to better troubleshoot network related issues.
SD Pro helps us determine the performance criteria that may point to an aircraft or network issue. Advanced connectivity has the performance data laid out graphically where it can be interpreted based on its relationship with other data to see what the influence may be, and guide us to a possible root cause.
The NOC Exchange has helped us share knowledge and is improving the processes on both sides promoting ownership and incentives for greater improvement.
SD: How has this affected your customers and what feedback have you received?
Cliff: Overall the feedback has been outstanding. Customers have noticed a faster, more attentive response, from Gulfstream to their concerns and suggestions. We look forward to expanding the collaboration to make the future even better for our customers, which is the end goal.
SD: Thank you, Cliff. We at SD appreciate the time and effort that you and your team have put in toward making this collaboration successful.
SATCOM DIRECT STRENGTHENS INMARSAT RELATIONSHIP WITH NEW VALUE-ADDED RESELLER (VAR) STATUS FOR JET CONNEX
SD has been appointed a Level 1 Value Added Reseller (VAR) for Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX service, the seamless in-flight connectivity solution. The Level 1 VAR status means that SD can now provide the ultra-high-speed data service directly to the business aviation community. This latest progression of the long-term SD and Inmarsat relationship benefits customers by enhancing the support and solutions available to them.
The new Jet ConneX Level 1 VAR status brings even more flexibility to the newly-launched SD Xperience which simplifies and improves business aviation connectivity and operations. SD Xperience is the new fully-synchronized, end-to-end solution that combines cabin and cockpit communications services, aircraft connectivity hardware, and flight operations software. SD Xperience delivers purpose-built technology to satisfy the unique, evolving requirements of business aviation, allowing SD to deliver tailored, customer-driven solutions to the global business aviation marketplace. As a Level 1 VAR, SD customers now have more direct airtime provider choices through the SD Xperience.
“SD was the first business aviation communications provider to provision its services and transmit data over Inmarsat’s first two Global Xpress satellites. We’re delighted that our successful partnership continues to grow, and we’ve become the leading supplier of Jet ConneX to the global business aviation sector,” said David Greenhill, President, SD.
“Additionally, SD proprietary solutions enhance and optimize the Jet ConneX service to deliver unmatched performance in the air. These exclusive SD services allow operators to manage and maximize bandwidth, improve voice call quality, prioritize passenger data and more – bringing them a better Jet ConneX experience.”
“Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX global inflight wi-fi has experienced unprecedented demand in the business aviation market, with more than 400 activations to date across the world,” said Philip Balaam, President, Inmarsat Aviation. “Our successful, long-standing partnership with SD has been a key part of this success. We are confident that now, as a Level 1 VAR, SD will build on that momentum by placing JX as a cornerstone of their new SD Xperience. We are proud to be one of their premium network providers.”
Intelsat’s FlexExec is redefining the in-flight connectivity experience by bringing industry-first performance and flexibility to business aviation. Customers can now realize a fully customizable end-to-end flight solution with SD Xperience and FlexExec.
- Global, multi-layered, high-throughput coverage riding on the strength and depth of Intelsat’s fully integrated Ku-band ecosystem
- Delivers the consistency and scalability required to meet customer needs today and well into the future
- Enables tailored pricing plans that cater to business aviation flight departments
- Delivers the passenger experience, with speeds up to 10 Mbps supporting streaming video, cloud-based services, email, voice and text
- Independent of commercial aero and consumer broadband networks
- Commercial service available in Q2 2019
SD recently hosted the SD Xperience Global Tour that allowed customers and journalist to experience the power and resilience of FlexExec firsthand. Check out the demo results here.
NEW VIASAT IN-FLIGHT CONNECTIVITY AND ENTERTAINMENT SERVICES AVAILABLE FOR BUSINESS JETS
At the recent NBAA trade show in Orlando, Viasat announced that’s its high-speed, high-capacity Ka-band in-flight connectivity solution has been selected for the Gulfstream G280™ mid-sized business jet airframe. The Viasat in-flight connectivity system will be a line-fit option, offered directly from the Gulfstream factory for all new aircraft. It will also be available as a retrofit for in-service aircraft.
In addition, Embraer as the first original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to select Viasat’s Ka-band connectivity solution for its Legacy 450 and Legacy 500 executive jets has extended that service to their new Praetor 500 and Praetor 600.
It was further announced a new service offering Viasat Unlimited Streaming, which allows you to watch TV, movies, sports and news channels will be made available in early 2019. By taking advantage of your current Viasat Ka-band in-flight connectivity equipment and service, the capability to stream media is at your fingertips. Viasat Unlimited Streaming is designed to make your in-flight entertainment system more flexible and cost effective without impacting your data plan.*
The Viasat system is prepared to serve the business jet users’ connectivity demands of today, while keeping pace with future bandwidth demands. The Viasat Ka-band solution is proven to support more passengers and more devices simultaneously through all phases of flight, when performing bandwidth-intensive applications, including accessing virtual private networks, or streaming high-definition video calls, cloud content or live TV entertainment.
Viasat is working with Satcom Direct to prepare the entry of these new services into the market.
* Viasat Unlimited Streaming is currently offered only on US-domestic flights and is not available in all areas. Viasat Unlimited Streaming requires a Ka-band or Dual-band data plan for data services. Monthly subscription fees apply for Viasat Unlimited Streaming.