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Panasonic Avionics (PAC) plans a significant boost to its Ku-band satellite capacity from 2022. The company confirmed a contract for multiple gigahertz of capacity on both multi-beam payloads of the Eutelsat 10B satellite recently procured and slated for launch in three years. The new Eutelsat 10B will feature a pair of high throughput Ku-band payloads. One will focus on the North Atlantic corridor, Europe, the Mediterranean basin and the Middle East. The second will extend coverage further south over the Atlantic, as well as to African and the Indian Ocean. PAC will use capacity across those coverage areas.
Panasonic Avionics is continuing to invest in its Ku-band connectivity network. This contract with a long-standing partner such as Eutelsat, with whom we already work with globally, illustrates our strategy to constantly expand our worldwide network with additional capacity, to create value for our airline customers and satisfy the needs of their passengers. We have collaborated closely with Eutelsat on this satellite design and we are very excited to see these efforts come to fruition.– Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation
Eutelsat‘s announcement of the 10B satellite in late October included mention of multiple partners. Gogo was announced at the time while PAC and Global Eagle were assumed as likely other consumers of the capacity. The PAC contract is now confirmed.
Growing the XTS constellation with Eutelsat 10B
The Eutelsat 10B satellite is described by Panasonic Avionics as the second in its “eXtreme Throughput Satellite (XTS)” constellation. The XTS constellation will deliver a higher density of Ku-band spot beams and greater overall capacity in the heaviest trafficked airline route corridors, boosting PAC’s performance in those regions. The connectivity provider is particularly keen on the improved capacity in regions historically underserved, such as Africa. That said, the company’s coverage map does not reflect the XTS designation over Africa
PAC includes the Ku-band payload on the soon-to-launch APSTAR-6D satellite in its XTS roadmap. That satellite is expected to deliver “multiple gigahertz of new Ku-band capacity over China and high-density routes around East Asia including Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia using narrow XTS spot beams.”
A commitment to Ku band
The Eutelsat 10B deal shows a commitment from Panasonic Avionics to its existing Ku-band customer base and network. This is particularly important following the deal announced in 2018 to join forces with Inmarsat on some sales efforts, pushing Ka-band as the default option for new sales opportunities. The Ku customers online today should see this move as reinforcing their existing hardware investment through the next decade.