British satellite company Inmarsat has joined hands with Japan’s Panasonic Avionics in providing in-flight broadband for commercial airlines.
Inmarsat will become Panasonic’s exclusive provider of connectivity using the Ka-band satellite signal under a 10-year agreement.
Inmarsat will offer Panasonic’s portfolio of services to its commercial aviation customers.
Inmarsat CEO Rupert Pearce said partnering with a leader in in-flight entertainment was a “massive vote of confidence” in the capability of its GX high-speed broadband network to provide in-flight broadband.
The catalyst for the partnership came from a mutual airline partner, Pearce said, and the two companies were already working on new prospects.
Air New Zealand was the first company to integrate Inmarsat’s GX services into its Panasonic in-flight entertainment, Inmarsat said in December 2016.
In-flight broadband, which allows airline passengers to send email and use the internet during flights, is a growth driver for Inmarsat, which also provides communications for shipping and governments.