Upon reading my recent article about the selection by Turkish Airlines of Panasonic Avionics’ Ku-band satellite-based connectivity solution eXConnect for its new long-haul aircraft, one high-level industry executive gave me a good tongue lashing via email, saying I drew conclusions from the Panasonic press release beyond what the manufacturer said.
I assured the executive that I had indeed presented follow-up questions to Panasonic, before writing the article. But I must confess the executive’s comments struck a chord. Was I relying too much on my past coverage of Panasonic’s connectivity strategy in writing this latest piece? Was my article accurate, as I felt it to be?
Out of my own sense of journalistic integrity (and pride, to be honest), I decided to present further questions to Panasonic, and the good folks at that firm were happy to oblige.
Here is my Q&A with Panasonic. In addition to clearing up any question about whether the firm is offering an SBB-based Wi-Fi solution, Panasonic reveals it has secured three more customers for eXConnect.
To those who don’t accept this information, all I can say is: “Don’t shoot the messenger.”
Question: Has Turkish signed on for Ku-band supported eXConnect from the get-go?
Answer: eXConnect is KU band satellite communications. Panasonic is working with Turkish Airlines to achieve their installation plans. As to why they chose Panasonic and our technology, you’d be best to ask them directly.
Question: Apart from Lufthansa (and Turkish?), have any other carriers reached agreement with Panasonic for Ku-band supported eXConnect? (I’m not asking for names, but an updated figure would be helpful.)
Answer: Yes. Three more airlines have also selected eXConnect and we are in discussions with an additional ten for Global Communications suite offerings.
Question: When Panasonic says it is working with OEMs for line-fit offerability of the GCS – including eXConnect – is it referring to the Ku-band supported solution? Or is it referring to SBB-supported GCS? Or both?
Answer: eXConnect is Ku-band supported and the OEMs we work with all know that.
Question: I know Panasonic is offering SBB-supported eXPhone, and that V Australia, for example, is a customer. However, is Panasonic also offering SBB-support Wi-Fi under the name eXConnect?
Answer: No we’re not.
(Graphic above from EDMO (Central) blog)