Panasonic Avionics has purchased a majority stake in Europe-based AeroMobile Communications, expanding the companies' in-flight connectivity partnership.
"We believe that, as a result of this transaction, our customers will benefit from an increased level of integration between our two companies," said Yasu Enokido, president and chief operating officer for Panasonic Avionics.
AeroMobile will continue to operate as an independent company, offering in-flight voice and data services. The company will continue to maintain and expand its global telecom roaming agreements and bring the AeroMobile service to an ever widening group of passengers, the company said. Telenor, which previously was AeroMobile's sole owner, remains the only other shareholder and will continue to bring its longstanding expertise in telecoms to AeroMobile.
"We are very excited to strengthen our ability to offer the highest levels of service to our airline customers and their passengers. We believe that this arrangement demonstrates the importance of this business both to Telenor and Panasonic, and by taking an active ownership position, Panasonic is clearly demonstrating its commitment to supporting this business in the future," Pål Bjordal, AeroMobile's president and CEO.
eXPhone is offered by Panasonic, in collaboration with AeroMobile's in-flight mobile phone service. It allows passengers to use their mobile phones, smart phones and BlackBerry® devices to make and receive voice calls and SMS text messages in flight, along with data services such as emails.