Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) has upgraded its broadband satellite network for its airline customers ahead of a predicted dramatic increase in demand for its services in 2014.
The network upgrade allows Panasonic to increase capacity in almost every geographic area for its Global Communications Services, which deliver on-board connectivity for passengers and crew. The 50% uplift in capacity comes as Panasonic prepares to deliver 260 Global Communications Services-equipped aircraft into service with airlines in the next year.
The new capacity has been delivered by software upgrades to the network’s 22 satellite beams. Panasonic uses iDirect’s satellite modem technology and also upgraded to iDirect’s latest Evolution technology version 3.1, to increase bandwidth. At the same time the new Evolution hardware platform allows Panasonic to support new capacity in virtually every geographic region.
David Bruner, VP of Panasonic’s Global Communications Services, said: “The upgrade is perfectly timed and in place for what promises to be a monumental year for Panasonic. As 2014 comes to a close, we will have over 600 aircraft worldwide operating on our network, and this upgrade ensures that we will continue to deliver a true broadband experience to the crew and passengers for the foreseeable future.”
Panasonic's Global Communications Services help create the same connected experience in air that travellers experience each day on the ground. It provides two-way broadband connectivity to an aircraft and supports a wide range of passenger and crew applications, including Internet access, voice, data, and the ability to monitor and transmit airline operational data in real time.
It also provides up to eight channels of live, uninterrupted programming such as news and the world’s most popular sporting events to aircraft flying all over the world, even over oceans.
In collaboration with AeroMobile's GSM mobile phone service, Panasonic’s solution allows passengers to use their mobile phones, smart phones and BlackBerry devices onboard to make voice calls if selected by the airline, send SMS text messages or use GPRS services such as email and Internet access.