Gulf Air opts for Panasonic’s Global Communications Suite

Bahrain’s national carrier, Gulf Air, has selected Panasonic’s Global Communications Suite for worldwide in-flight broadband connectivity, mobile phone service and live television programming.Following the agreed final terms, Panasonic will install its broadband Ku solution eXConnect, eXPhone and the eXTV live television network across the entire Gulf Air fleet. The retrofitting will be implemented progressively, beginning in September 2011, and is expected to take two years to complete.Gulf Air’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Samer Majali explained, “Gulf Air is moving forward with its new strategy of re-fleeting and introducing high quality products and services that bring a new dimension to our customers’ travel experience. It is imperative, therefore, that our fleet, both current and future, is fitted with state-of-the-art entertainment and communications systems."“We have selected global leader Panasonic’s Global Communications Suite after evaluating several other systems that would meet our requirement and fit in with our new strategy, “ Mr Majali added. “This is a perfect choice as it not only offers our customers a technologically superior, integrated voice, video, data, telephony and television programmes – all in hi-speed broadband connectivity – but also assures our passengers of a consistently a high quality product across our fleet.“Chief Executive Officer for Panasonic, Paul Margis commented, “Panasonic is honoured to announce Gulf Air as a customer for our Global Communications Suite. Gulf Air will be able to create a deeply immersive, content-rich environment like nothing their passengers have experienced before.”“With applications and services such as live television, social networking, and much more – all backed by the ability to optimize and troubleshoot the system in real time– we believe that Gulf Air will set a new standard for in-flight entertainment,” Mr Margis concluded.Panasonic’s eXConnect and eXTV systems will allow Gulf Air passengers to enjoy an avant-garde, cutting-edge experience with fully integrated in-flight broadband connectivity, offering high speed internet, 3G-4G mobile data speed connectivity, voice over the internet (VOIP), streaming videos and in-flight live TV satellite stream across continents. Airline crew will be able to monitor and transmit operational data in real time at speeds of up to 50 Mbps to the aircraft.In collaboration with AeroMobile, Panasonic’s eXPhone system will provide the carrier’s passengers in-flight mobile phone technology for use with mobile, Smartphone or BlackBerry devices to call, text, email and browse throughout the flight. In addition, eXPhone mobile data works with GSM-enabled tablets and laptops.CEO and President of Aeromobile, Pål Bjørdal declared, "We are delighted to confirm Gulf Air as our 10th announced customer. AeroMobile offers strong connectivity throughout the Middle East through its network of roaming partners, and this continues to increase all the time. This development is further endorsement of KU Band and the excellent bandwidth it offers, which is a requirement for today’s advanced handsets.”

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