London & Tokyo – 20 September, 2018 – Inmarsat and Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) have agreed on a strategic collaboration for an initial ten-year period, that enables them to combine their highly complementary market leading services to offer broadband inflight connectivity (IFC) paired with high-value solutions and services to customers in the commercial aviation industry worldwide.
This collaboration will enable airlines, aircraft manufacturers and passengers to benefit from the combined expertise of two companies that have been at the forefront of technology and innovation for nearly four decades.
Under the terms of the agreement, Inmarsat will become Panasonic’s exclusive provider of Ka-band IFC for commercial aviation. Panasonic will now be able to offer Inmarsat’s high-speed, broadband connectivity service, GX Aviation, powered by Global Xpress, the world’s first global Ka-band satellite network, owned and managed by a single operator. Panasonic will continue to invest in its own network and, with GX Aviation as a primary offering for new business, will be perfectly positioned to serve both its current and future customers.
In addition, Inmarsat will now be able to offer Panasonic’s market-leading portfolio of services and NEXT solutions to Inmarsat’s commercial aviation customers. This includes customer support services available from Panasonic’s Customer Performance Center and Technical Services teams.
The collaboration, which is already being deployed with a mutual customer, presents a unique opportunity to leverage Inmarsat’s proven track record of high-quality and innovative global mobile connectivity, and Panasonic’s market-leading inflight entertainment, digital services, and connectivity solutions.
Looking forward, Inmarsat and Panasonic will also collaborate on the development of a next generation GX Aviation terminal, as well as new connectivity-enabled services, data analytics, and technology to improve overall end-to-end performance.
By delivering this step-change in aviation services capability, airlines will have access to new and better solutions that address widely recognized industry challenges of capacity, coverage, and compatibility. This will give greater quality, consistency of experience and more choice to airlines and their passengers in the IFC market, which by some estimates could exceed $100 billion by 2035.
Rupert Pearce, Chief Executive Officer, Inmarsat, said:
“Our highly complementary collaboration with Panasonic combines the unique expertise and proven capabilities of both companies to create a market-leading inflight connectivity offer for aircraft manufacturers, airlines and their passengers.
“IFC is a substantial and fast-emerging sector where the quality of customer experience is paramount. Reliable, high-quality IFC is no longer a luxury for passengers, but an expectation, and will play a vital role in securing an airline’s competitive position in a market.
“Today’s landmark announcement is clear evidence of Inmarsat delivering on its strategy and strengthens our conviction that, building upon the success of the global GX network, aviation will be a significant individual growth driver of our overall business. It also demonstrates Inmarsat’s commitment to becoming the reference IFC network for airlines around the world.
“We look forward to working closely with Panasonic as we develop the relationship and accelerate our respective innovation roadmaps to ensure we continue to provide airlines and passengers with the world’s leading IFC experience.”
Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer, Panasonic Avionics, said:
“For over 10 years, Panasonic has remained steadfast in its commitment to the connected aircraft. Still, many airlines have more than one connectivity partner, and this strategic collaboration ensures that even more airlines have access to a wide variety of industry-leading digital solutions.”
“By adding GX Aviation into our NEXT Online portfolio, we’re recognizing the need for IFC consistency across multiple fleets and enabling digital solutions and services with unified customer support. It’s really a win-win for customers.”
“After all, there’s nothing quite like watching your favorite sporting event on the seatback, shopping for products that are relevant to your life and interests, or using apps that personalize your journey.”
“Clearly, this is truly a tremendous opportunity for our industry. We look forward to working with Inmarsat to provide a wider suite of services and solutions to the world’s airlines.”
– ENDS –
For further information
Rob Gurner Alison Stokes
Inmarsat Investor Relations Inmarsat Corporate Communications
0207 728 1518 0207 728 1492
+44 (0)7825 189088 +44 (0)7713 306417
Panasonic Avionics Contacts:
Manager, Corporate Communications
Tel: +1 949 462 1742
Tel: +44 (0)7884 187297
Notes to Editors
Inmarsat’s existing agreements with other strategic partners in the industry will remain unaffected, while Panasonic will continue to improve and offer its high-performance global Ku-band satellite network in delivering IFC services to its aviation customers worldwide.
Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. Inmarsat operates around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centers of commerce on every continent. Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (ISAT.L). For more information, please visit www.inmarsat.com.
The Inmarsat press release newsfeed and corporate updates are on @InmarsatGlobal.
GX Aviation is the world’s first and only globally available, high-speed inflight internet service delivered through a wholly-owned and operated network of High-Throughput Satellites (HTS). It has won a string of prestigious awards for offering state-of-the-art, uninterrupted, global inflight connectivity that enables passengers to browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with connectivity that is comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground. As the world’s leading mobile satellite communications operator, Inmarsat continues to invest and further develop its advanced network. The company will be launching three next-generation very high-throughput (VHTS) satellites, starting next year with its fifth GX satellite (GX-5). This strategy is focused on layering additional capacity to the GX global network to meet escalating demand from airline customers in specific regions
About Panasonic Avionics Corporation
Panasonic Avionics Corporation is the world’s leading supplier of inflight entertainment and communication systems. The company’s best-in-class solutions, supported by professional maintenance services, fully integrate with the cabin enabling its customers to deliver the ultimate travel experiences with a rich variety of entertainment choices, resulting in improved quality communication systems and solutions, reduced time-to-market and lower overall costs.
Established in 1979, Panasonic Avionics Corporation, a U.S. corporation, is a subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation. Headquartered in Lake Forest, California with over 5,000 employees and operations in 80 global locations, it has delivered over 9,000 IFE systems and 2,000 inflight connectivity solutions to the world’s leading airlines.
For additional information, please visit www.panasonic.aero
 ‘Sky High Economics: Quantifying the commercial opportunities of passenger connectivity for the global airline industry’, by London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), 2017