You already know that Monday at APEX, the day before the exhibition floor opening, is usually devoted to Industry Education and 2014 is no different. On September 15, APEX plans a full day of speeches and presentations that we wanted to present to our readers to be sure they attended – this year looks to be very interesting and useful. You can find the link for the whole day here and the presentations will be at the Anaheim Convention Center Ballrooms D & E.

The first big deal will be the Keynote Address 9:10 – 9:50, from Edward L. Shapiro, Partner and Vice President, PAR Capital Management, Inc. Here is what APEX says about Mr. Shapiro: “In this opening session, Shapiro, an experienced investor in Airlines, Media/Entertainment, and IFEC, will offer an overview of the industry, exploring how airlines are leveraging technology to improve the overall passenger experience, differentiating their products and generating new sources of ancillary revenue.  He will also share his thoughts on how the rapidly evolving Media/Entertainment Industry on the ground will impact the airline passenger market. What trends can we expect to see in the future? How will the connectivity market develop?  What role will third-party sponsorship play in the Passenger Experience?” We got pretty excited when we saw the mention of “3rd party sponsorship” because this concept brings up the question of revenue generation on IFE screens, a issue on the minds of all airlines we talked to. This should be a most interesting kick-off to the education day so don’t miss this one. Then after lunch it’s on to some interesting breakout sessions – Here is a Bio Link for Mr. Shapiro and don’t miss this one!

Next, IFExpress was most intrigued by Breakout Sessions, Track C – Entertainment & Connectivity – Technology Focus (the techie track. See below for a bit more detail:

Surfing the skies. Evaluate technologies that play a crucial role in bettering the passenger experience, not only for passengers but also for airlines and the multiple vendors involved in creating this experience. Hear how the e-Aircraft will benefit airlines, improve efficiency and better the passenger experience. How is RF exposure being measured and how must members comply? How do regulations differ across the globe? Hear updates on these and other topics of interest. Room 210 A & B

13:30 – 14:10 Breakout Session C1 — The E-Aircraft Concept: Concept & Fulfillment

Moderator: Michael Planey – Co-Founder, HMPlaney Consultants 
• David Bruner – Vice President of Global Communication Service,  Panasonic Avionics Corporation
• David Coiley – Vice President, Aviation, Inmarsat
• Lee Costin – Director Satellite Solutions & Cabin Services, ARINC (Rockwell Collins)
• Ian Dawkins – Chief Executive Officer, OnAir
• Ted Nugent – Business Development Manager, Transportation European Aviation, Cisco
• Mike Moeller – VP, Sales and Marketing, In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity, Thales/LiveTV LLC

Panelists will explore the e-Aircraft concept as the future of inflight connectivity with the potential to provide real and valuable cost savings, an improved passenger experience and more. This session will share what an e-Aircraft entails and how best to make it a reality.

(Editor’s Note: IFExpress got very interested in the e-aircraft mention and we contacted Michael Planey for a bit more on the panel discussions and he told IFExpress: “The main purpose of the Panel discussion will be focusing beyond passenger connectivity. We are overdue as an industry in developing operational uses for the unused bandwidth on the aircraft. Many of the traditional IFEC vendors are trying to step into this space, but there is plenty of room for new companies with operational expertise to join. I’m hoping for a number of questions from the airlines in attendance. Especially in outlining the types of services they are most interested in purchasing in the future.”)

14:25 – 15:05 Breakout Session C2 — An Overview of High-Performance Satellite Antennas
Bruce Elbert – President, Application Technology Strategy, L.L.C.

There are many lower profile high efficiency antennas coming to market but are these low-profile, high efficient antennas the wave of the future for connectivity services? Bruce will deliver a white paper on the range of antenna options for aircraft antennas with a focus on the latest technologies and their impact on broadband service to passengers.

15:20 – 16:00 Breakout Session C3 — Radio Frequency  Susceptibility & Exposure 
Ed Mantiply – Physical Scientist, United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

In-flight internet access has taken off.  Every aircraft internet access system includes in-cabin Wi-Fi and some type of broadband wireless data link to the ground. That means that there a lot of radio transmitters being installed on aircraft.  Some of the radios have relatively low power transmitters, and some have high power transmitters.  With the proliferation of radio transmitters there has been an increase in the concerns of the health implications of human exposure to radio frequency energy. A representative from the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will explain human RF exposure guidelines published by the FCC, and tools available from the FCC to aid in the analysis of RF exposure. In addition an example of the calculations of the RF exposure limits will be done for a fictional aircraft Ku satellite installation.

These sessions should bring us up to speed regarding everything we wanted to know about connectivity, from the overall concept, to how the antennas work, to the issues of RF exposure from the radio transmitters used.  You don’t want to miss these breakouts because APEX has really focused on what’s happening in IFE&C today – see you in Anaheim on September 15!

Lake Forest, CA | April 7, 2014– An A380 line-fitted with broadband in-flight connectivity service from Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) has been delivered to Lufthansa.

The A380, was fitted at Airbus with Panasonic’s award-winning Global Communications Services. Over the next twelve months, Panasonic will equip an additional 11 linefit A380s with its global connectivity service.

David Bruner, Vice President of Global Communications Service at Panasonic, says: “For the first time, A380 passengers will be able to experience truly global, full broadband connectivity that’s only available from our Ku-band Global Communications Service.

“Our unique service lets passengers browse the Internet, access their VPN, and send email at high speeds, giving them a service similar to what they would expect on the ground.

Panasonic’s inflight connectivity is supported by a satellite network that covers over 99.6% of commercial flights meaning that passengers on this increasingly popular aircraft will benefit from high speed connectivity virtually everywhere they fly.”

For the A380, Panasonic’s in-flight Wi-Fi provides two-way broadband communications to an aircraft and lets passenger surf the internet, email, access social networks. It also enables other crew and passenger applications.

The aircraft will also feature Panasonic’s global, live eXTV television service and a channel lineup that delivers Al Jazeera, BBC World News, CNBC, CNN International, EuroNews, NHK World Premium, Sky News Arabia and Sport 24, to passenger devices and high resolution displays in every seat.

Lake Forest, CA | December 18, 2013–Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) has upgraded its broadband satellite network for its airline customers ahead of a dramatic increase in demand for its services in 2014.

The network upgrade allows Panasonic to increase capacity in almost every geographic area for its Global Communications Services, which deliver on-board connectivity for passengers and crew. The 50 percent uplift in capacity comes as Panasonic prepares to deliver 260 Global Communications Services-equipped aircraft into service with airlines in the next year.

The new capacity has been delivered by software upgrades to the network’s 22 satellite beams. Panasonic uses iDirect’s satellite modem technology and also upgraded to iDirect’s latest Evolution technology version 3.1, to increase bandwidth. At the same time the new Evolution hardware platform allows Panasonic to support new capacity in virtually every geographic region.

David Bruner, Vice President of Panasonic’s Global Communications Services, said: “The upgrade is perfectly timed and in place for what promises to be a monumental year for Panasonic. As 2014 comes to a close, we will have over 600 aircraft worldwide operating on our network, and this upgrade ensures that we will continue to deliver a true broadband experience to the crew and passengers for the foreseeable future.”

Panasonic’s Global Communications Services help create the same connected experience in air that travelers experience each day on the ground. It provides two-way broadband connectivity to an aircraft and 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. It also provides up to eight channels of live, uninterrupted programming such as news and the world’s most popular sporting events to aircraft flying all over the world, even over oceans.

In collaboration with AeroMobile’s GSM mobile phone service, Panasonic’s solution allows passengers to use their mobile phones, smart phones and BlackBerry® devices onboard to make voice calls if selected by the airline, send SMS text messages or use GPRS services such as email and Internet access.