Panasonic Expands GEO Ku-Band Satellite Capacity

Panasonic announced a major expansion of its global connectivity network. It is adding new and expanded GEO Ku-band satellite capacity and expanding its current capabilities through the introduction of additional HTS capacity over China and Japan.

Panasonic Avionics has embarked on an ambitious journey to expand its existing network. The addition of new and expanded GEO Ku-band satellite capacity promises higher-speed in-flight internet connections.

This network boost emphasizes the incorporation of new HTS (High Throughput Satellites) and XTS (Extreme Throughput Satellites), offering enhanced coverage spanning across North, Central, and South America, the North and South Atlantic Ocean, Europe, the Middle East, the Arabian Sea, Africa, and the Indian Ocean.

There will also be a significant focus on Asia—Panasonic Avionics is incorporating additional HTS capacity over China and Japan to strengthen its footprint in a pivotal region.

Beyond just coverage, the expansion promises to deliver accelerated speeds. Airlines and passengers can anticipate speeds of up to 75 Mbps via HTS and 200 Mbps through XTS satellites. This represents a 50% global capacity increase for reliable high-speed internet services.

The forthcoming launch of multi-orbit connectivity services will integrate an electronically steered antenna (ESA), designed to access both GEO and LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellites.

More than 70 leading airlines globally have chosen Panasonic Avionics’ in-flight connectivity services, indicating the industry’s growing demand for more robust and high-speed connectivity solutions.

“For the past few years, we have seen exponential growth in the adoption of in-flight connectivity,” remarked John Wade, Vice President of Panasonic Avionics’ In-Flight Connectivity Business Unit. “Passengers want faster internet speeds for traditional services like email, web browsing, social media, and messaging, and they are increasingly looking to stream content, play games in-flight, and use collaborative cloud-based applications.”

He added, “Given our unique approach to satellite capacity, and with our multi-layered, multi-orbit connectivity network, Panasonic Avionics has the unique ability to leverage a wide range of different, industry-leading satellites, rather than the high-risk approach of relying solely on proprietary satellite technology. This enables Panasonic Avionics to add new capacity quickly and easily when and where it’s needed, ensuring we can deliver an advanced and virtually uninterrupted service. The result is a better experience for passengers and higher Net Promoter Scores (NPS) for airlines.”

Panasonic’s first XTS satellite entered service on Feb. 3, 2021. In July of that year, the company announced that it had activated XTS satellite coverage over China and the Asia Pacific region. “The beam over Asia Pacific from APSTAR 6D, Panasonic Avionics’ first XTS satellite, has gone live through teleports in Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, and Perth,” according to the company.

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