Panasonic CES 2018

Tom Gebhardt, chairman and CEO, Panasonic Corporation North America, introduces the company’s third generation communications network at CES. Image: Kristina Velan

APEX Insight: United and Southwest airlines will begin installing Panasonic Avionics’ third generation connectivity on aircraft this quarter. The network will offer bandwidth up to 20 times greater than previously available.

Panasonic Avionics introduced its third generation satellite communications network at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this morning. The network will offer bandwidth up to 20 times greater than previously available. A number of Panasonic’s airline partners, including United and Southwest, will begin installing the third generation system on aircraft during the first quarter of this year.

“Our third generation communications network will be a step-function change in technology,” said Tom Gebhardt, chairman and CEO, Panasonic Corporation North America, at the press conference. “It will greatly improve the [airline passenger] experience, enabling applications like Skype, and even open up the possibility of video streaming in the sky.”

“Our third generation communications network will be a step-function change in technology.” – Tom Gebhardt, Panasonic

The increased bandwidth, made possible by the rollout of Panasonic’s new satellite modem which was developed with Newtec, also supports 3G phone services, improved TV picture quality and a broader channel choice, VoIP applications and greater bandwidth for crew applications. Panasonic is also offering new business intelligence tools that provide customers with data and analytics needed for targeted pricing and advertising campaigns.

The new communications network is built on Panasonic’s high throughput satellite service, which today covers all dense mobility traffic areas around the globe with high throughput spot beams and wide overlay beams that support Panasonic’s global in-flight television service. “Our new satellite communications network is more than just greater bandwidth,” said Hideo Nakano, CEO of Panasonic Avionics Corporation. “It represents a major evolution in our approach to partnering with customers to deliver the highest standards of service and to ensure that their passengers enjoy an unmatched, connected experience inflight.”

Kristina is digital editor of APEX Media. Plane and simple.