Panasonic Avionics’ aircraft mission control center. Photo courtesy of Panasonic Avionics
Inmarsat and Panasonic Avionics have agreed on a strategic collaboration, for an initial 10-year period, enabling them to combine services to offer broadband in-flight connectivity (IFC) paired with solutions and services to customers in the commercial aviation industry worldwide. Inmarsat and Panasonic will also collaborate on the development of a next-generation GX Aviation terminal.
Under the terms of the agreement, Inmarsat will become Panasonic’s exclusive provider of Ka-band IFC for commercial aviation. Panasonic will now be able to offer Inmarsat’s high-speed, broadband connectivity service, GX Aviation, powered by Global Xpress, a global Ka-band satellite network Panasonic will continue to invest in its own network and, with GX Aviation as a primary offering for new business, will be positioned to serve both its current and future customers.
GX Aviation is the high-speed Ka-band aviation broadband service from Inmarsat that first became operational in 2017 on board Air Astana’s Boeing 767 fleet. Qatar Airways is also equipping its Airbus A350 and Boeing 777 fleet with GX Aviation to enable its Super Wi-Fi service.
The two companies have not released technological details about the next-generation GX Aviation terminal. Honeywell Aerospace was the first OEM to receive final type approval from Inmarsat for its own JetWave Multi-Channel Satellite (MCS) terminal, antenna controller, modem and router hardware in 2016.
Inmarsat and Panasonic will also be collaborating on the development of new connectivity-enabled services, data analytics and technology under their new agreement. Airlines such as Emirates and UPS have focused on investing in and adopting new technologies and concepts to enable more enhanced use of data analytics platforms in recent years with a focus around improving the ability of their maintenance teams to predict when critical aircraft systems and components will fail before they actually do during flight.
In addition, Inmarsat will now be able to offer Panasonic’s portfolio of services and Next solutions to Inmarsat’s commercial aviation customers. This includes customer support services available from Panasonic’s Customer Performance Center and Technical Services teams.
“Many airlines have more than one connectivity partner, and this strategic collaboration ensures that even more airlines have access to a wide variety of industry-leading digital solutions,” Hideo Nakano, CEO of Panasonic Avionics said in a statement about the new partnership.