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OneWeb Signs Deal with Panasonic Avionics to Offer In-flight Broadband Services

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
October 19, 2022

OneWeb has reached an agreement that will allow Panasonic Avionics Corp. to market, sell and support the company’s high-speed, low-latency in-flight broadband services to commercial airlines worldwide.

“Panasonic Avionics will offer OneWeb’s global service standalone or paired with Panasonic Avionics’ award-winning GEO service, which covers 99.6% of the world’s flight routes. Adding support for OneWeb represents Panasonic Avionics’ dedication to a multi-orbit strategy and will offer airlines more choices, with top-tier products supporting forward link speeds approaching 200 Mbps and return link speeds up to 32 Mbps everywhere, including polar routes,” OneWeb said in a press release.

Panasonic Avionics has delivered in-flight connectivity to more than 70 leading airlines around the world. The company expects to support OneWeb-equipped aircraft in the second half of 2023.

“Our mission at OneWeb is to enable airlines to deliver a consistent, terrestrial-like connectivity experience to their passengers, no matter when or where they are flying – over oceans, over the North Pole – absolutely everywhere. This connectivity experience will drive value through enhanced passenger satisfaction and loyalty. This agreement with Panasonic is significant for OneWeb, as it allows us to leverage their reputation, expertise, and reach to bring our LEO network to airlines, while seamlessly integrating our connectivity solution within existing IFEC infrastructure,” said OneWeb VP Mobility Services, Ben Griffin. 

John Wade, Vice President of Panasonic Avionics’ In-flight Connectivity Business Unit, said, “Airline passenger expectations, and therefore the demands of our airline customers, continue to change. Passengers are accustomed to high-speed, low-latency connections supporting remote collaborative working environments, high-quality video streaming, and real-time gameplay. With OneWeb, we can now offer that experience everywhere our customers fly. This is a truly exciting day for the in-flight connectivity market.”

OneWeb is preparing to resume launches of its 648-satellite broadband constellation after an 8-month gap. An Indian GLSV Mk III rocket is set to 36 satellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Saturday, Oct. 22.

All previous OneWeb satellites were launched on Russian Soyuz boosters. However, the contract for six additional Soyuz launches was canceled in March following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. OneWeb subsequently made arrangements to launch satellites on India’s GLSV Mk III and SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets.

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