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Intelsat and OneWeb to bring multi-orbit connectivity to airlines

This partnership comes after Intelsat announced a new IFC solution in June, with a new multi-orbit capable, electronically steered array terminal to offer increased flexibility to its airline customers.

OneWeb and Intelsat have signed a global distribution partnership agreement to offer airlines inflight connectivity (IFC) solutions.

The partnership enables Intelsat to distribute OneWeb’s low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite services to airlines worldwide, coupled with Intelsat’s IFC experience and existing geo-stationary (GEO) satellite service. The result is a multi-orbit solution for the aviation community, leveraging the benefits of both networks.

Under the agreement, Intelsat will distribute OneWeb capacity coupled with its service. Intelsat said this will fill gaps in IFC coverage and capacity at airport hubs, across oceans, and over polar routes.

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

Commenting on the agreement, Jeff Sare, president of Intelsat’s Commercial Aviation, said: “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.”

Ben Griffin, OneWeb Vice President, Mobility Services, added: “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.”