Panasonic Avionics (PAC) will add low earth orbit satellites to its inflight internet offerings, thanks to a partnership with OneWeb. The long-expected distribution agreement will enable PAC to market, sell, and support OneWeb’s high-speed, low-latency LEO in-flight broadband services to commercial airlines worldwide.
Passengers are accustomed to high-speed, low-latency connections supporting remote collaborative working environments, high-quality video streaming, and real-time gameplay. With OneWeb, we can now offer that experience everywhere our customers fly. – John Wade, Vice President of Panasonic Avionics’ In-flight Connectivity Business Unit
The deal is the latest in a series of distribution agreements for OneWeb as it progresses in building out its LEO constellation. With the OneWeb constellation added to the network Panasonic will augment its GEO coverage and capacity. The boosted service will enable a multi-orbit strategy for PAC and offer increased choices for airlines.
The companies expect to deliver more options for airlines, including new data packages supporting forward link speeds approaching 200 Mbps and return link speeds up to 32 Mbps everywhere, including polar routes. The two companies expect to support OneWeb-equipped aircraft in the second half of 2023.
Panasonic Avionics’ will make its catalog of cloud-enabled, broadband-connected applications available over the OneWeb network, including mobile phone connectivity, ARCTM moving map, ZeroTouchTM content management, and related services.
“This agreement with Panasonic is significant for OneWeb, as it allows us to leverage their reputation, expertise, and reach to bring our LEO network to airlines, while seamlessly integrating our connectivity solution within existing IFEC infrastructure,” added OneWeb Vice President Mobility Services, Ben Griffin.
PAC is not the only player in the GEO space teaming up with OneWeb. Intelsat announced a similar distribution agreement with OneWeb earlier this year. Eutelsat was an investor in the recapitalization of the company last year before initiating a merger earlier this summer to capitalize on the multi-orbit strategy. For all of these partnerships, however, one major challenge remains.
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