Intelsat, OneWeb bring multi-orbit connectivity to airlines

Intelsat has signed a global distribution deal with OneWeb to provide multi-orbit inflight connectivity solutions for airlines

Satellite communications companies, OneWeb and Intelsat, have signed a global distribution partnership agreement to offer airlines a ‘seamless inflight connectivity’ solution. 

This agreement would see OneWeb’s low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite services combined with Intelsat’s existing geo-stationary (GEO) satellite service offered to airlines worldwide.

“This level of connectivity will enable airlines to maximise brand affiliation with passengers through all their onboard services – delivering a truly connected end-to-end passenger journey. 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 digitalisation strategy,” said Jeff Sare, President of Intelsat’s Commercial Aviation.

The companies expect the multi-orbit solution to be in service by 2024.

Improving inflight connectivity 

OneWeb is a global communications network 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. 

In 2020 Intelsat acquired Gogo’s commercial aviation service, and OneWeb also recently signed its first aviation deal with Gogo Business Aviation, which is aimed more at the private aviation sector.

“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. 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,” said Ben Griffin, OneWeb Vice President, Mobility Services.

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