Hughes Network Systems is not new to the inflight internet world. But the company is getting more aggressive in its pitch to airlines. Hughes is now a global distribution partner of OneWeb‘s LEO constellation services. The deal was announced this week at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2023.
Combining OneWeb service with our high-performance antenna and our expertise delivering managed services at scale, we’re able to offer passengers worldwide an in-flight Wi-Fi experience that’s as fast and responsive as they can get at home or in the office. – Reza Rasoulian, vice president, Hughes
Hughes will offer a LEO-only solution taking advantage of its in-house developed electronically steered antenna (ESA). This hardware was introduced in March 2022. An updated, full-duplex version to support higher throughput was announced in May 2023, though focused on the business aviation community and Gogo‘s Galileo solution. But the Hughes/Gogo exclusivity only covers business aviation; Hughes is free to use the terminal for commercial aircraft. The company also will offer its Ka-band services via the Jupiter GEO constellation and the ThinKom Ka2517 or Ka1717 antenna options.
Finally, Hughes will also offer “an industry-first, patent-pending, hybrid solution that leverages Hughes Fusion™ technologies to transform any Geostationary orbit (GEO) aero service into a fast, low latency onboard Wi-Fi experience.” It is unclear exactly which terminal hardware is being offered for the Fusion solution, though the idea is similar to the Plus concept ThinKom teased in March. An alternative would be to mount the ESA separate from the Ka2517 or Ka1717 on board.
Commenting on the announcement, Ben Griffin, vice president mobility at OneWeb added, “The best way to provide airlines and passengers with faster, more consistent and truly global broadband service is with a variety technologies and partnerships. Hughes is a trusted, strategic partner of OneWeb, and we’re delighted to extend this partnership to include our aviation services. This agreement reinforces our industry-led approach which is resonating so well with airlines globally.”
Hughes, through its parent EchoStar, is an investor in OneWeb.
More news from Aircraft Interiors Expo 2023
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- Finalists for 2023 Crystal Cabin Awards represent the future of passenger comfort
- ThinKom, Kontron partner for multi-constellation, multi-orbit, multi-modem IFC terminal
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- Seamless finalizes QoE metrics, certifies first partner
- Recaro introduces PL3810, next generation of premium economy
- Jazeera saves weight, increases cabin capacity with Expliseat TiSeat E2
- Hughes signs on as OneWeb partner, launches new IFC options for airlines
- Recaro’s Xtend option allows exit row legroom shrink
- Aurora single-aisle lie-flat business class seats unveiled by Collins Aerospace
- Air Canada plans more free Wi-Fi with regional jet upgrades
- Unum Two launches as forward-facing business class option
- Collins brings galley inserts online with low-cost retrofit option
- Airbus HBCplus Ku-band providers selected
- ThinKom Plus launches, with hybrid LEO/GEO offering
- Air4All, Delta Flight Products team for wheelchair seating on board
- Testing the next step for LEO-based IFC
- JAL plans boost for inflight Wi-Fi service
- Airspace coming to A220 family
- InteliSence aims to boost premium cabin service with seat monitoring, analysis
- Seeking understanding in the IFC world
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