Panasonic Avionics and APSATCOM bring XTS Ku-band to Asia

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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 and anechoic chamber at its Lake Forest facility.

Panasonic Avionics and APT Mobile Satcom Limited (APSATCOM) have announced a major evolution in connectivity for mobility markets with their Extreme Throughput Satellite (XTS) Ku-band service.

APSATCOM is an affiliate of APT Satellite Company Limited (APT), the operator of the APSTAR satellite constellation.

Panasonic says the new satellite, APSTAR-6D, gives it the capacity to meet the needs of its customers and to position itself for sustained growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

APSTAR-6D was jointly designed by APSATCOM and Panasonic to best serve Panasonic’s connectivity customers. It is tailored to put capacity where it is most needed, rather than spread evenly over the Earth.

APT has provided technical support in design and project management, and will provide satellite operation after launch. This XTS satellite will provide Panasonic customers with multiple Gigahertz of new Ku-band capacity over China and high-density routes around East Asia including Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia using narrow XTS spot beams.

In addition, APSTAR-6D provides high throughput satellite (HTS) coverage over the full field of view of the satellite including the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Australia and the Southern Oceans down to Antarctica.

This includes areas not served by any other HTS satellite. Panasonic says tailoring the capacity to areas of demand will provide Panasonic customers with better service, unprecedented coverage and the ability to dramatically increase throughput.

One of the markets to benefit the most from XTS service is air transport.

Today, 21 Asian carriers, representing more than 800 aircraft, have already selected Panasonic for connectivity service, including many of the region’s leading airlines, such as Air China, All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Hainan Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Xiamen Airlines.

In addition, other leading airlines around the world that are Panasonic connectivity customers will use this advanced satellite capacity as their aircraft fly routes to and over Asia.

Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said: “Today is a milestone moment as Panasonic leads the industry with plans for the next evolution in inflight connectivity.

“Targeted, flexible use of extreme high throughput capacity ensures that Panasonic can meet the needs of our airline customers for cost-effective and reliable high bandwidth services well into the future.”

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Andy Fellows, Vice President of the Asia, Japan and China Regions for Panasonic Avionics, added: “This is a truly exciting milestone for connectivity customers across Asia, especially China.

“From the very beginning, we knew China was the fastest growing market for inflight connectivity, and we worked tirelessly with partners to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals to expand service in this key region.

“With APSTAR-6D, we now have the future capacity we need to best serve customers in China and across Asia with an unmatched global connectivity service.”

Jason Li, CEO of APSATCOM, said: “Since 2009, APT has provided Panasonic Avionics with key satellite capacity that serves the Asia region.

“APSATCOM is pleased to continue this relationship with APSTAR-6D, the latest milestone in improving satellite communications services for the Chinese and Asian mobility markets.

“This new satellite is an ideal solution for Panasonic’s roadmap for inflight connectivity services both in China and throughout Asia. We believe that its unique design will help Panasonic deliver unmatched satellite communications services for many years to come.”

This XTS satellite will be integrated into Panasonic’s recently-launched third-generation communications network, which is built to meet the growing connectivity demands of airlines and their passengers. It says this flexible network is designed to place capacity where it’s most needed across the globe to meet demand.

Panasonic’s third-generation communications network supports the provision of services such as fast internet, video streaming, VoIP applications, improved TV picture quality and broader channel choice, 4G phone services, and greater bandwidth for crew applications.

The network is backed by Panasonic’s new Customer Performance Centre, which drives improved network performance, greater reliability, and faster response and resolution times, along with business intelligence tools and reports that provide customers with the data and analytics to deliver and monitor targeted pricing and advertising campaigns.

Today, approximately 2,000 aircraft flying routes all around the world use Panasonic’s 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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