Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) recently announced an agreement with Nelco Limited (Nelco) to provide satellite connectivity services to customers flying into India and over Indian airspace.
With this agreement, Panasonic becomes the first satellite communications provider to begin inflight connectivity (IFC) operations under Nelco’s Department of Telecommunications license for In-Flight and Maritime Connectivity (IFMC), in accordance with the Flight and Maritime Rules. As a result of this agreement, Panasonic, and its subsidiary ITC Global, now offer connectivity to both aircraft and maritime vessels operating within India.
“Becoming the first satellite communications provider to offer services over India is a major milestone for Panasonic,” according to Ken Sain, CEO of Panasonic Avionics Corporation. “We are delighted to be partnering with Nelco, and are proud to offer our valued customers the ability to change the way people stay connected in flight, at sea and in remote locations around the world.”
With the implementation of the agreement and subject to regulatory approvals from relevant authorities, Indian full-service carrier Vistara may become the first airline in the country to offer satellite connectivity on international flights.
“As Vistara inches closer to launching long-haul international operations and becomes a global brand, our steadfast effort is to provide a truly world-class service to our customers to and from India,” said Vinod Kannan, chief commercial officer, Vistara. “Our partnership with Panasonic in providing a state-of-the-art IFE system and satellite connectivity is a step in that direction, and we are confident that it will further elevate the five-star flying experience that Vistara is renowned for.”
With equipment already installed on more than 2,500 aircraft, vessels, and other platforms, Panasonic and ITC Global are already delivering connectivity services to customers in the aviation and maritime markets, providing them with access to satellite-based high-quality broadband internet services over India.
Panasonic says their inflight connectivity service is currently offered by more than 65 airlines globally. The GSAT 14 satellite will ensure that passengers onboard Panasonic-connected flights will enjoy a full suite of connected services while flying over Indian airspace or into India. At this time, over 700 aircraft from over 30 airlines installed with Panasonic’s connectivity solutions have begun using the GSAT 14 satellite.
“We are delighted that Nelco is spearheading in providing the long-awaited Aero IFC services in the country, marking the beginning of a new chapter in passenger services for the aviation sector in India,” P J Nath, NELCO Managing Director and CEO, said. “We are also very happy that we have forged the partnership with Panasonic Avionics in serving their customers. We foresee a great opportunity for growth in the IFC services in the country in the coming years and intend to be a leader in this market.”
Panasonic’s inflight connectivity solutions will enable passengers to stay connected while they fly. Along with its subsidiary, AeroMobile, Panasonic is working with Nelco, the Department of Telecommunications – India, and local telecoms organizations to deliver seamless connectivity for data, text and voice services, accessible via a passenger’s mobile device in flight.
The service will be available on aircraft equipped with this service traveling across Indian airspace and is expected to launch on Vistara in early 2020 – the first Indian-based airline to offer a service of this kind to passengers.
Panasonic and Nelco have been working together to bring in-flight and maritime connectivity over India since March 2019. The agreement was signed by Panasonic, Nelco and Tatanet services on September 13, 2019. Since September, Panasonic and Nelco have been integrating networks to enable connectivity services using bandwidth from Indian satellites landing in Nelco’s teleport in Mumbai, India.