Panasonic Avionics says it is evaluating six separate offers from satellite fleet operators looking to build a dedicated Ku-band satellite to deliver broadband and entertainment to aircraft passengers travelling over the Asia-Pacific region. Panasonic wants services to start during 2017.
Space News cites Panasonic’s Todd Hill, its director of global communications systems, saying that the six bids are all credible, and he would see Panasonic leasing between one-third and two-thirds of the overall capacity for between 5 and 10 years.
Panasonic is already an anchor client on the upcoming Intelsat ‘Epic’ high-throughput Ku-band satellite due for launch in 2015. Panasonic says it does not want to own satellites, preferring to lease capacity.
Panasonic is providing Internet and personalised TV services (via its eXconnect service) on 330 aircraft and is adding around 20 aircraft to its ‘fleet’ each month. Lufthansa has 70 aircraft equipped with Panasonic Avionics kit. Panasonic now holds 209 licences out of its target 210 countries it wants to serve.