Panasonic adds Ku capacity in Middle East

Washington DC
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Panasonic Avionics has secured additional Ku-band capacity on AsiaSat 5 to bolster its Ku-band connectivity service for routes in the Middle East and India.

The connectivity provider first signed up for capacity on the satellite in September 2011 to support its global communications suite, which includes wireless internet connectivity, live television and mobile service at speeds of 50 mbps.

Panasonic says the new capacity "significantly enhances" the existing coverage on the AsiaSat 5 and will allow the company to add more customers and aircraft in the region.

"As we continue to equip more and more aircraft that fly routes over these key, very high traffic markets, we will add the capacity and coverage necessary to ensure the industry's highest bandwidth at the lowest possible price," says David Bruner, vice-president of Panasonic Avionics' global communications service.

Existing Middle Eastern customers include Bahrain-based Gulf Air, which is installing the eXConnect, eXPhone and eXTV services on its entire fleet of aircraft, which includes Airbus A320 family models, A330s and Embraer 190s.

Etihad also has a commitment to install Panasonic's eX2 system on 100 new aircraft, including the Airbus A320, Boeing 787 and 777-300ER. It will also feature the eX3 version of the IFEC system on the Airbus A350, which will arrive in 2019, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online database.