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Hughes inks LEO distribution deal with OneWeb for airlines

A global distributor of OneWeb aero service, Hughes offers LEO-only and Hybrid LEO+GEO satellite services for onboard connectivity.
Reza Rasoulian, VP at Hughes and Ben Griffin, VP at OneWeb

Hughes Network Systems and OneWeb have signed a distribution partnership 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) solutions, powered by the company’s electronically steered antenna (ESA), for airlines to deliver fast, low-latency and reliable passenger Wi-Fi.

Commenting on the agreement, Reza Rasoulian, Vice President of Hughes, said: “This latest agreement enables Hughes to bring the advantages of the OneWeb system – global reach, low latency, high speeds and enterprise-grade service – to airlines and select partners so they can meet the growing passenger demand for in-flight Wi-Fi. Combining OneWeb service with our high-performance antenna and our expertise in 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 solutions include an 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.

Ben Griffin, Vice President of 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 of 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.”

This 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 US Department of Defense. Hughes, through its parent company EchoStar, is an investor in OneWeb.