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OneWeb, Panasonic Avionics connectivity deal

October 18, 2022

LEO satellite operator OneWeb and in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solutions provider Panasonic Avionics have agreed to terms that enable Panasonic Avionics to market, sell, and support OneWeb’s high-speed, low-latency in-flight broadband services to commercial airlines worldwide.

Panasonic Avionics will offer OneWeb’s global service standalone or paired with Panasonic Avionics’ GEO service, which covers 99.6 per cent of the world’s flight routes. Adding support for OneWeb represents Panasonic Avionics’ dedication to a multi-orbit strategy and will offer airlines more choices, with top-tier products supporting forward link speeds approaching 200 Mbps and return link speeds up to 32 Mbps everywhere, including polar routes.

This coverage and performance will improve the in-flight surfing and streaming experience for passengers and will open the door to new airline passenger experiences. Examples include live gameplay, video conferencing, and VoIP communication.

Panasonic Avionics’ proven track record delivering in-flight connectivity to more than 70 of the world’s leading airlines, and its ability to sell and support the OneWeb solution globally, were vital factors in its partnership with OneWeb. Panasonic expects to support OneWeb-equipped aircraft in the second half of 2023.

Panasonic Avionics will make its catalogue of cloud-enabled, broadband-connected applications available over the OneWeb network, including mobile phone connectivity, ARCTM moving map, ZeroTouch content management, and related services.

“Our mission at OneWeb is to enable airlines to deliver a consistent, terrestrial-like connectivity experience to their passengers, no matter when or where they are flying – over oceans, over the North Pole – absolutely everywhere,” said OneWeb VP Mobility Services, Ben Griffin. “This connectivity experience will drive value through enhanced passenger satisfaction and loyalty. 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.”

“Airline passenger expectations, and therefore the demands of our airline customers, continue to change,” added John Wade, Vice President of Panasonic Avionics’ In-flight Connectivity Business Unit. “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. This is a truly exciting day for the in-flight connectivity market.”

OneWeb currently has about two-thirds of its constellation in orbit and another 36 satellites are scheduled to launch this coming weekend.

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