The annual APEX EXPO is less than 24 hours away and anticipation for this year’s event is high. Many suppliers are promising big news throughout the week. In the inflight connectivity world it remains to be seen if anything will top the Panasonic Avionics/Inmarsat announcement from last week. Of course new order announcements are anticipated and will be part of the news cycle. But what additional stories will develop during the week?
For one thing, I’m hosting a Cabin Space Live session on the AIX side of the event. Stop by on Tuesday afternoon to spend an hour talking about how comfort can improve in the economy class cabin.
Beyond that, here’s what PaxEx.Aero will be tracking throughout the week, broken down by vendor.
What is the outlook for the company’s LEO plans?
- Global Eagle is keen to trial its gimbaled antenna for LEO-based connectivity, a significant technical challenge given the frequent satellite handoffs necessary. In maritime the company is pursuing a wider variety of technologies and some of that is expected to flow over to aero eventually.
What of the promised new customers?
- The company announced connectivity deals with multiple unnamed airlines, including one active in Europe by Q3 2018. The hardware is reportedly being delivered but when will we see it fly and when will we officially know l’airline it is operating on? Also, when will the Asian carrier be disclosed?
Is a split imminent?
- With many investors expecting a split of the commercial and business aviation units what is the long term future of the company? If not, what concrete steps is the company taking to cut satellite costs as it tries to right the balance sheet?
Is EAN ready yet?
- There are planes with the kit installed but none active for passengers. What’s the hold up and when will it be live?
- With the new Panasonic Avionics partnership will we see additional Ka-band capacity in the GX constellation before the I-6 family of satellites take flight?
Whither the XTS constellation?
- Yes, PAC is committed to Ku-band capacity for its existing customers, even as it plans to focus on selling Inmarsat’s GX Aviation solution going forward. And the company highlighted its previously announced XTS payload commitments in conversations following the partnership announcement. But will it still orbit all six payloads previously promised?
- Lots of talk about NEXT and the focus on data analytics since the new regime took over late last year. What of these developments will be real products versus vaporware? Or will it all be custom developed for individual airline customers?
What comes after Spirit?
- The Spirit Airlines deal is big for the company and installs are now underway. That’s good news, but what’s next? Will we get confirmation of the Air Canada project?
When will ViaSat-2 come online for aero?
- The satellite, launched last June, has been online for terrestrial applications since earlier this year. Getting it online for aero is a big deal for several airlines, including one not yet publicly named.
- Separately from the “Big 6” vendors what other developments are happening in the IFEC industry? Will we seen new orders for streaming systems or other, alternate entertainment solutions?
- And, although such announcements are less common at this show, will we see anything new from seating manufacturers during the week?
Follow along here on PaxEx.Aero or on twitter as the news unfolds throughout the week.
More from APEX EXPO 2018
- EXPO Preview: What’s on tap this week
- Airconnect Go set to stream on Canadian North Airlines this winter
- Aeromexico confirms Viasat connectivity on MAX fleet
- Alaska Airlines adds SkyLights’ VR headsets to IFE lineup
- New livery, free drinks, free wifi coming to Aer Lingus in 2019
- PAC picks up an IFEC a pair
- Ka-band inflight connectivity to take flight in China
- Air France Connect brings inflight wifi live on board
- Another tiny lavatory preps for flight on American Airlines
- PaxEx Premium: Digging deeper on the Inmarsat/Panasonic strategic partnership
- Now boarding: Bluetooth audio connections
- PaxEx Premium: Does Spirit have a secret for selling wifi?
- Finnair ends free trial, rolls out wifi charges
- Bringing IoT to flight: Sensors, alerts, payments and more from APEX EXPO 2018
- PaxEx Premium: LEO connectivity testing reaches new heights
- PaxEx Premium: A LEO milestone for Global Eagle, Telesat