Panasonic Announces Lufthansa as GCS Launch Customer


Frankfurt, Germany – October 12, 2009 – Today, Lufthansa announced the return of in-flight passenger connectivity with the re-launch of their FlyNet branded broadband internet service. FlyNet will utilize the Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) Global Communications Suite. Lufthansa aims to equip a major part of its long-range fleet with FlyNet within the first year of operation.

The Panasonic Global Communications Suite consists of the eXConnect broadband service, the eXPhone GSM service, and the Panasonic Airborne Television Network.

Panasonic’s eXConnect is designed to provide global, two-way broadband connectivity to support 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.

The eXPhone solution allows passengers to use their mobile (cell) phones to make voice calls, send SMS text messages, or utilize data services in-flight, virtually anywhere in the world. The eXPhone system is designed to be flexible, giving the airline full control over the services offered with the ability to restrict certain services when appropriate.

The Panasonic Airborne Television Network is a revolutionary approach to live, in-flight television. This proprietary, dedicated network is provided by Panasonic to offer a global, synchronized viewing experience with live news, sports, financial and special events to airline passengers. Panasonic has established licensing relationships directly with top content providers to provide the programming for the service.

Panasonic has assembled and integrated a world class team of technology and service providers to collectively deliver the Global Communications Suite.

The eXPhone system and service are provided in conjunction with AeroMobile, the award-winning provider of in-flight mobile communication services and technology.

MTN Satellite Communications is the leading global service provider of at-sea communications, connectivity and content services and will provide the Ku band satellite network services for Panasonic’s Global Communications Service business. More details about the satellite network will be provided in the coming weeks.

Panasonic has contracted with EMS Technologies’ Defense & Space Division, to provide the advanced dual-panel, satellite-tracking antenna, developed collaboratively by Panasonic and EMS. This unique design delivers greater performance and global coverage, especially at lower latitudes such as near the equator. The antenna’s dual polarization receive capability, unique to the EMS Technologies antenna system, doubles the available receive bandwidth.

Panasonic licenses iDirect’s state of the art satellite IP router technology as a core component of the Panasonic eXConnect in-flight satellite transmission platform. iDirect is a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology. iDirect’s innovative spread spectrum waveform diffuses the transmission of satellite bandwidth while maintaining a high data rate, which dramatically conserves satellite space segment and lowers bandwidth costs for airlines.

In November of this year, Panasonic is installing their eXConnect system on a private Boeing Business Jet (Boeing 737) to conduct the initial flight tests. Additional information on this aircraft and customer will be announced in Orlando, Florida at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Annual Conference October 20, 2009.

“We are thrilled to be working with Lufthansa as our launch customer of the eXConnect broadband service.” states Paul Margis, Chief Executive Officer. “Panasonic had already assembled the best of class suppliers to provide the full range of services in the Panasonic Global Communications Suite – and now, in Lufthansa, we have the perfect launch customer to match.”

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