Satellite communications companies OneWeb and Intelsat have signed a global distribution partnership agreement to offer airlines a seamless inflight connectivity (IFC) solution with the best combination of performance, coverage, and reliability on the market.
The partnership enables Intelsat to distribute OneWeb’s ground-breaking low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite services to airlines worldwide, coupled with Intelsat’s extensive IFC experience and existing geo-stationary (GEO) satellite service. The result is a truly multi-orbit solution for the aviation community, leveraging the benefits of both networks.
By harnessing the power of multi-orbit capabilities, Intelsat will ensure airlines and their passengers are able to enjoy the best IFC, without compromise. Airlines and their passengers will no longer have to accept significant gaps in IFC coverage or capacity – even at busy hubs, across oceans, and over polar routes. Intelsat will seamlessly manage connectivity, allowing passengers to remain connected no matter where they are.
The companies expect the multi-orbit solution to be in service by 2024.
“This level of connectivity will enable airlines to maximize brand affiliation with passengers through all their onboard services – delivering a truly connected end-to-end passenger journey,” said Jeff Sare, president of Intelsat’s Commercial Aviation. “The hybrid service offering further allows the global airline community to plan their suite of next-generation onboard services with confidence – not only ensuring a future-proofed passenger inflight connectivity experience, but also the implementation of a connected airline digitalization strategy.”
“This is a watershed moment for the inflight connectivity market, and we’re excited to work together with Intelsat to bring our multi-orbit solution to commercial aviation. We’re committed to delivering the most differentiated and innovative solution for airlines,” said Ben Griffin, OneWeb vice president, Mobility Services. “We are proving that, through the power of partnership, a superior suite of multi-orbit capabilities can be offered to better serve the growing connectivity needs of the commercial aviation industry, delivering the highest value coupled with the lowest risk.”
OneWeb is a global communications network powered from space, headquartered in London, enabling connectivity for governments, businesses, and communities. It is implementing a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites with a network of global gateway stations and a range of user terminals to provide an affordable, fast, high-speed and low-latency communications service, connected to the IoT future and a pathway to 5G.