Panasonic Avionics unveils third-generation satellite network

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A Panasonic Avionics' Ku-band antenna being tested in and anechoic chamber at its Lake Forest facility.
A Panasonic Avionics’ Ku-band antenna being tested in an anechoic chamber at its Lake Forest facility.

Panasonic Avionics has announced a major evolution of its satellite connectivity service with the introduction of its third generation communications network.

It says its third-generation network is built to meet the growing connectivity demands of airlines and their passengers. Throughout the first quarter of 2018, aircraft from a number of airlines will be transitioned to Panasonic’s new network.

In addition, Panasonic subsidiary, ITC Global, will leverage Panasonic’s new broadband network to deliver connectivity to its energy, maritime and enterprise customers.

Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said: “Our new satellite communications network is more than just greater bandwidth – it represents a major evolution in our approach to partnering with customers to deliver the highest standards of service and to ensure that their passengers enjoy an unmatched, connected experience inflight.”

The new communications network is built on Panasonic’s high throughput satellite (HTS) service, which today covers all dense mobility traffic areas around the globe with high-throughput spot beams and wide overlay beams that support Panasonic’s global inflight television service.

When combined with the rollout of the company’s new satellite modem, developed in conjunction with Newtec, Panasonic says it now offers bandwidth up to 20 times greater than previously available and virtually seamless beam switching.

Panasonic Avionics headquarters in Lake Forest, California.
Panasonic Avionics headquarters in Lake Forest, California.

This supports the provision of services such as fast internet, video streaming, VoIP applications, improved TV picture quality and a broader channel choice, the capability to offer 3G phone services, and greater bandwidth for crew applications.

Overall, Panasonic Avionics says it now offers:

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  • Better traffic shaping to ensure passengers have access to the types of applications they want to use,
  • Better consistency of service for better user experience overall,
  • Better control over the satellite and network links, and
  • Bigger return links from the aircraft for more bandwidth and responsive internet sessions.

The network is backed by a range of new measures Panasonic has launched to provide higher levels of support to its customers.

It says these initiatives are channelled through Panasonic’s new Customer Performance Center, which drives enhanced network performance, reduced outage times, and faster response and resolution times for all customer inquiries. The new centre sees three previously separate support teams rolled into one.

The Customer Performance Center offers a range of value-added services including traffic shaping tools, live monitoring and management of the user experience, and Panasonic’s ZeroTouch service, which enables real-time content loading, validation and management.

This includes a newly-formed Business Intelligence Group focused on usage analytics, demographics analysis, route-based statistics  and predictive analysis on upcoming trends in connectivity.

Additionally, Panasonic is offering new tools and reports that provide customers with the data and analytics to deliver targeted pricing and advertising campaigns.

Today, Panasonic says more than 1,800 aircraft flying routes all around the world use its global high-speed inflight connectivity service. The company expects more than 10,000 aircraft to be connected to its world-class global high-speed communications network by 2025.

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