AeroMobile is about to show the massive transatlantic market what its GSM/GPRS service is made of. The Arinc/Telenor partnership’s mobile connectivity solution, branded by Panasonic Avionics as eXphone, is part of the connectivity suite being provided by the IFEC giant to Lufthansa, which, by the way, is already making press arrangements for Monday’s big announcement.
While neither AeroMobile nor Panasonic can confirm the Lufthansa deal, AeroMobile chief commercial officer Peter Tuggey tells me: “The scale of transatlantic broadband and cellular connectivity is about to be transformed in the coming days when a major international carrier announces their plans to operate into the US with this capability.”
AeroMobile’s largest customer to date, Emirates, has already equipped 56 widebodies with the company’s in-flight mobile connectivity solution, and is moving as quickly as possible to equip the rest of its fleet because passengers are so happy with the service (and getting so used to having it available to them on Emirates flights).
“We’re running at over 90% reliability and we’re starting to see huge penetration of the service,” says Tuggey.
Emirates isn’t yet using its AeroMobile-equipped aircraft on US routes – they’re more profitably employed elsewhere at the moment – but that will eventually change.
Tuggey believes Monday’s announcement of a major international carrier will prove a tipping point. “The US carriers will be watching these developments closely – US passengers will be enjoying these services, but only on foreign carriers,” he says.
While the Lufthansa deal is HUGE, it represents just one of a total 13 carriers that have selected eXphone.
AeroMobile’s SwiftBroadband-supported services, meanwhile, will be flying in the first quarter of next year, reveals Tuggey.