Hughes Network Systems, an EchoStar company, and OneWeb, have announced a Distribution Partner agreement to provide LEO connectivity services to the global airline market. As a worldwide OneWeb distributor, Hughes is launching new LEO in-flight connectivity (IFC) offerings, powered by the company’s electronically steered antenna (ESA), for airlines to deliver fast, low-latency and reliable passenger Wi-Fi.
“This latest agreement enables Hughes to bring the advantages of the OneWeb system — global reach, low latency, high speeds and enterprise-grade — to airlines and select partners so they can meet the growing passenger demand for in-flight Wi-Fi,” said Reza Rasoulian, vice president, Hughes. “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.”
The new Hughes LEO In-Flight offerings include a LEO-only offering and 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. Both are powered by the Hughes LEO antenna, which is a lightweight, low power, and low-profile ESA designed, developed, and manufactured by Hughes.
Commenting on the announcement at AIX, Ben Griffin, vice president mobility at OneWeb said, “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 are extending this partnership to include our aviation services. This agreement reinforces our industry-led approach which is resonating so well with airlines globally.”
Today’s agreement marks the latest development in the relationship between OneWeb and Hughes. Hughes engineered the gateways for the OneWeb ground network and also engineered and manufactures the core module used in every terminal in the system to power the LEO connectivity. A distribution partner for fixed satellite services across the Americas and India, Hughes also distributes OneWeb services to the U.S. Department of Defense. Hughes, through its parent company EchoStar, is an investor in OneWeb.
Image above: At the Hughes booth at the Airline Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, Reza Rasoulian, vice president at Hughes, and Ben Griffin, vice president at OneWeb, sign the Distribution Partner agreement for Hughes to provide OneWeb Low Earth Orbit satellite connectivity services to global airlines and select partners.
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