Understanding How Private Jet Wi-Fi Works on Business Jet Charters
Technology is changing the way companies use business jets charters. While corporate jets were once sought after by travelers wanting to avoid busy airports and time-draining check-in procedures, they’re now being used as a tool to maximize inflight productivity. A lot of that can be attributed to the availability of private jet Wi-Fi connectivity, which is transforming these aircraft into flying business headquarters.
Business travelers can now perform many of tasks that they could only previously tend to on the ground, such as:
- Sending emails
- Making phone calls
- Holding video conferences
But how does private jet Wi-Fi work?
Can you get Wi-Fi on private jets?
There are two types of Wi-Fi network available to travelers using business jet charters, each with their strengths and limitations.
Air-to-ground Wi-Fi: Similar to the towers used by cell phones, an air-to-ground system relies on land-based towers that send wireless signals upward to aircraft flying overhead.
Satellite Wi-Fi: With this type of system, a business jet is able to offer Internet service by connecting to a satellite in geostationary orbit (about 22,300 miles above the earth’s surface). The Wi-Fi signal is then distributed to passengers onboard using an onboard router.
How fast is Wi-Fi for a private jet?
An air-to-ground service is typically cheaper than its satellite counterpart, however, it’s also a little slower. Internet speeds can vary based on the service provider, but air-to-ground systems typically offer about 10Mbps (Megabites per second), whereas inflight satellite Wi-Fi ranges anywhere from 12 to 20 Mbps. For comparison’s sake, according to technology research firm Statista, the average household Internet speed in the US is about 20Mbps.
Where can you use inflight Wi-Fi?
While air-to-ground Wi-Fi works well for domestic charter flights, the ground-based towers are unable to deliver a signal over open water (signal strength is typically effective up to about 50 miles offshore). Therefore, business travelers who want to stay connected on international charter flights will need a satellite service.
Additionally, until last year, the only option for inflight Wi-Fi in Europe was through a satellite connection, as the first air-to-ground networks were only introduced in 2017.
When it comes to private jet travel in the US, Federal Aviation Administration regulations only permit charter operators to offer Wi-Fi connectivity at altitudes above 10,000 feet.
How much is Wi-Fi for a private jet?
Some charter operators pass the expense of private jet Wi-Fi service along to customers and others embed it in the hourly rate. If you’re paying extra for the service, you could expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $100 an hour for satellite service, depending on your data usage. To ensure you receive the service you expect, and to avoid any unforeseen costs, talk to your charter agent about the available Wi-Fi options.
What planes offer free Wi-Fi?
Most modern charter aircraft—such as the Citation X and Challenger 300—come equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity as an option, but whether or not it’s free depends on the operator.
It’s worth inquiring with your charter agent about the cost of private jet Wi-Fi when booking.
To book business jet charters with the latest in-cabin technology and comfort, talk to a Stratos Jets air charter associate 888-593-9066, or start a quote online.