Panasonic's broadband tests on BBJ 'exceeding expectations'

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Panasonic Avionics has installed and certified its Ku-band satellite-based in-flight connectivity solution, eXConnect, on a privately owned Boeing 737, and will use the aircraft for ongoing testing and validation as well as live demonstrations to customers and OEMs.

The in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) giant says the exConnect system installed on the 737 Boeing Business Jet is exceeding its expectations.

"At Panasonic, our goal has always been to provide true broadband connectivity to aircraft that is affordable, global and mature. This installation is further proof that our customers can select a Ku system from Panasonic and provide very high-speed Internet access to passengers anywhere in the world at 30,000 feet," says Panasonic Avionics CEO Paul Margis.

Part of the company's Global Communications Suite, eXConnect supports a wide range of passenger and crew applications, including Internet access, voice, data, and the ability to monitor and transmit airline operational data in real time at speeds of up to 50 Mbps to the aircraft, according to Panasonic.

The firm has already secured a number of customers for eXConnect, including Lufthansa, which is expected to launch the service before year-end, possibly next month. A former Connexion by Boeing (CBB) customer Lufthansa is actively testing eXConnect with already-installed CBB antennas on about six aircraft.