Panasonic signs deal with Eutelsat for in-flight Wi-Fi network

The Eutelsat 172B high throughput satellite will be integrated into Panasonic network architecture when it launches in 2017 providing much wider bandwidth and faster data speeds

Panasonic signs deal with Eutelsat for in-flight Wi-Fi network

Panasonic Avionics Corporation has signed an agreement with Eutelsat America, to deliver in-flight broadband connectivity services to aircraft flying high traffic routes spanning the west coast of North America, to Asia, and down to Australia and Pacific islands.

With 99.6% of all airline routes covered by its service, Panasonic claims to offer the most capable and comprehensive connectivity solution including in-flight Wi-Fi, mobile phone and live television service, using the only satellite network that is solely dedicated to commercial aviation. 

Panasonic said it is continuing to make substantial investments in 'high throughput satellites' to ensure airlines and their passengers receive the highest bandwidth for the lowest possible cost both now and for the foreseeable future.

The Eutelsat 172B high throughput satellite, which is scheduled to launch in 2017, will seamlessly integrate into Panasonic’s network architecture, which is tailored to the unique requirements of global aviation.

It move allows Panasonic to proactively address the expanding connectivity market - specifically in the fast growing Asia Pacific region - and the ever-increasing demand for data services by passengers.

High throughput satellites use a combination of spot beams and high level frequency re-use to provide much wider bandwidth and faster data speeds as passengers browse the internet and use other online services. They also use a broad overlay beam, which is used to economically deliver up to eight channels of live television to passengers in flight.

Through this purpose-built network architecture, now including EUTELSAT 172B, Panasonic will provide up to 200 megabytes per spot beam - four times more bandwidth than its nearest competitor. 

Paul Margis, president and CEO of Panasonic Avionics, said: "Demand for in-flight connectivity is increasing exponentially, especially in Asia. This agreement with a capable technology partner such as Eutelsat represents a continuation of our commitment to serve the aviation industry with the most capable and comprehensive connectivity solution available today and in the future.”

Following a fiercely contested competition, Eutelsat was selected as a result of its decision to install a replacement satellite at a key strategic location on Panasonic’s global network, offering excellent orbital slot and frequency coordination.

Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat chairman and CEO, said: “EUTELSAT 172B is ideally positioned to serve the rapidly growing in-flight connectivity market in this region, and we welcome Panasonic Avionics as an anchor tenant on this state-of-the-art satellite. Their long-term commitment to this location underscores its unmatched vantage point over a wide and underserved area spanning from the West coast of North America, to Asia and down to Australia and Pacific islands.”

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