Wow, what a day for Ku-band satellite-based connectivity, eh? Lufthansa finally confirmed its partnership with Panasonic to reignite overseas connectivity, further catapulting Ku-band into the spotlight (after Southwest Airlines announced ut will equip its entire Boeing 737 domestic fleet with Row 44's Ku solution).
Indeed, Panasonic, like Aircell and Row 44 before it, can now lay claim to the illustrious Golden Ticket. Who will prove to be the triumphant Charlie Bucket, surviving the pitfalls of the connectivity factory? Time will tell.
But now that its first big in-flight broadband announcement is out of the way, Panasonic is going to move quickly into the flight-test phase. The company reveals it will trial its solution, known as eXConnect, on a Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) within weeks.
That, and other juicy IFEC and interiors news stories are sitting on Flight Global's new IFEC channel right now.
Here is the URL: www.flightglobal.com/IFE
Bookmark it Dano :) Plus, it makes a nice companion to this blog.
Now then, today's blog headline talks about a Ku-band antenna so let's talk about a Ku-band antenna.
Panasonic is using an antenna supplied by EMS (which includes some Starling technology and looked FAB-UL-OUS at the Panasonic booth at WAEA...more on that later) and Row 44 holds an agreement with antenna maker AeroSat.
But service providers are notorious for wanting (needing?) more than one supplier at the ready (see LiveTV's decision to tap KVH despite its EMS partnership).
This begs the question - can new Ku-band antenna makers get a piece of the action?
One team that is ready to do just that is the Qest/Tecom partnership, which told me at the World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA) show last week that it plans to have its KuStream 1000 antenna system certified by January 2010 and ready for delivery in February. The partnership also said some other interesting things.
Need a Ku-band antenna? Check out the KuStream 1000's specs above, and then check out the video below!