Panasonic Avionics expands South American satellite coverage

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Panasonic Avionics is expanding its satellite coverage across South America to support in-flight wi-fi and live television, says the connectivity provider at the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) expo in Anaheim today.

The new Ku-band satellite capacity will be delivered with Telesat's new Anik G1 satellite, which became operational in May. The deal will allow Panasonic Avionics to expand its wi-fi and eXTV live television offering over South America.

"We have the unique ability to scale coverage and capacity anywhere in the world where our customers fly," says David Bruner, vice-president of global communication services for Panasonic Avionics. "This flexibility not only helps guarantee that we will always provide the best coverage for airlines and that we will continue to offer the highest bandwidth for the lowest price per bit."

The new capacity could also help better service for existing customers adding high-density aircraft to the region connected with the Ku-band capability. American Airlines has two connected Boeing 777-300ERs flying from Dallas to Sao Paulo right now, and plans to add a third in November, the carrier's website shows.

Panasonic Avionics told Flightglobal in February that it was working with American Airlines to improve the wi-fi on its 310-seat Boeing 777-300ER aircraft flying to the region after passengers faced trouble connecting on the aircraft's inaugural flight to Sao Paulo on 31 January. The connectivity provider said at the time that it has been able to make "dramatic improvements" to the service since the first flight and would continue to optimise the service.