Connectivity

XTS Satellite Enters Service for Panasonic’s Next Generation IFC Network in Asia Pacific

The first satellite to enable the Panasonic Avionics XTS in-flight connectivity service in the Asia Pacific region has gone live. (Panasonic Avionics)

Panasonic Avionics is ready for initial operations of its next-generation extreme high throughput satellite (XTS) in-flight connectivity (IFC) service in the Asia Pacific region. The first XTS satellite entered service on Feb. 3, according to a press release published by Panasonic.

According to the release, Panasonic is on track to upgrade 2,500 aircraft with XTS connectivity over the next month. Other Asian carriers have committed to equipping 1,000 more new-build aircraft with XTS as line-fit connectivity.

“Today is a milestone moment for Panasonic Avionics as we go live with the newest generation of in-flight connectivity," Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said in the release. "Our third-generation communications network delivers the targeted, flexible use of extreme high throughput capacity, ensuring we can meet the needs of our airline customers with cost-effective and reliable high bandwidth services well into the future.”

The new XTS service is enabled by the company's third-generation modem, capable of delivering up to 250 Mbps to an aircraft, which is then divided into individual usage by passengers and flight crews. APSTAR 6D, the Ku-band satellite behind XTS, is operated APT Mobile Satcom, a subsidiary of APT Satellite.

Panasonic jointly developed the satellite in partnership with APT Mobile Satcom and describes XTS as a critical element of its existing Gen-3 network. APSTAR-6D was first launched in July, with a total capacity of 50 gigabits per second, including 30Gbps of dedicated capacity to mobility applications over mainland China.

Singapore Airlines, whose A350-900 is pictured here, is one of the Asia Pacific carriers transitioning to Panasonic's new XTS connectivity service. (Singapore Airlines)

Jeff Sare, Vice President, in-flight connectivity solutions at Panasonic Avionics, said the service entry of XTS is their latest step toward establishing a global Ku-band network.

"We are planning further investment in our global network of Ku-band satellites for use by commercial airlines in the years ahead. For example, our second XTS, Eutelsat 10B, is due to launch next year and will provide enhanced connectivity over Europe and the Middle East. Additional capacity commitments are also planned," Sare said in a press statement.

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 are among the Asian carriers scheduled to transition to the new XTS service.

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