Airbus responds to allegations it is shutting OnAir’s competitors out

Panasonic and AeroMobile’s revelation this week that they face difficulty in securing offerability status from Airbus for the Arinc/Telenor joint venture’s in-flight mobile connectivity service (branded by Panasonic as eXPhone) – and allegations by several sources that the European airframer is outright shutting OnAir’s competitors out of contention – has prompted a response from Airbus.

Here is Airbus’ position in its entirety.

1. Airbus has been listening to its customers’ long-standing concerns and is proactively supporting industry-wide initiatives to standardize interfaces between systems and aircraft;

2. Airbus is not opposed to accommodating additional connectivity service providers. In fact we are fully open to receiving requests from other service providers to be present on the hardware platform developed by Airbus, and which would use the standard interfaces and systems that are integrated into the actual aircraft design;

3. Moreover, Airbus does not accept that the aircraft platform architecture should become vendor dependent to exclude other providers — as that would then create a vendor-monopolistic situation;

4. It is Airbus policy not to comment publicly on the offerability of a specific product or supplier without prior discussion with that supplier or formal notification of a decision.

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3 Responses to Airbus responds to allegations it is shutting OnAir’s competitors out

  1. Dr Mojoh July 13, 2009 at 4:00 am #

    This makes me wonder if Airbus could possibly be using the fast developing connectivity business to push their ALNA V2 solution. I.E. OnAir are integrating with ALNA V2 (OmanAir etc) and therefore they are offerable, Panasonic don’t want to be forced to integrate with ALNA V2 and they struggle to get the eXConnect/eXphone solution onboard from linefit.

    Conversely PAC will eventually have to play ball as there is little option on the A350 other than integrating with ALNA in the cabin extension domain.

  2. Mary Kirby July 13, 2009 at 9:59 am #

    Hi doc,
    I just got off the phone with Benoit Debains of OnAir. He says ALNA V2 is indeed at the heart of the matter. I’ll try to get a post up today (I’m getting on the road for Seattle in about an hour).
    Thank you! Nice to see you again.

  3. Mushroom July 14, 2009 at 10:02 am #

    The crux of the matter, as already suggested, is the hideously complex, and IMO slightly unnecessary, ALNA V2 server which essentially is being thrust upon customers by Airbus.

    OnAir are in a great position as they’ve tracked the development of this behemoth with their own development whereas the unwitting new entrant to the connectivity market will have to retro-integrate their solution.

    Unfortunately, until customers and a particularly a major mid-eastern airline starts squawking, Aeromobile and Panasonic complaints will be met with a very gallic shrug of the shoulders….

    P.s. I work for none of the companies mentioned above.