AA09: Panasonic ready to announce Chinese breakthrough

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eXconnect on verge of Chinese airline launch

Panasonic is on the verge of naming a Chinese regional airline as the first in market here to introduce the company's Global Communications Suite (GCS) based on its eXConnect system.

Negotiations between the airline and Panasonic were going on last night as the IFE specialist celebrated the opening of a new regional headquarters in Hong Kong.

The Chinese airline is the sixth to sign up for the system which Panasonic claims will cut the cost of using on-board internet and mobile telephony by up to 90% of current charges, leaving the way open for airlines to keep their aircraft constantly linked with base. David Bruner, vice president global communications services. says the system can be standalone or integrated into existing IFE systems. GCS enables personal connectivity through in-flight wireless high-speed broadband Internet and data services that provide access to live and cached content for passengers and operational information for the flight crew, eXPhone in-flight mobile phone service using the passenger's own GSM phone and Panasonic Airline Television Network in-flight global access to live broadcast television.

David Bruner - Waiting for Chinese confirmation