Posted on: 14 February 2011 by Ross McSweeny
Panasonic has announced the signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) to deliver full broadband connectivity and mobile phone service on SAS’ domestic, pan-European and intercontinental flights.
It is expected that installations will begin in Autumn 2011, but the LOI allows the immediate development and planning to deploy Panasonic’s eXConnect solution, and its eXPhone product delivered in collaboration with AeroMobile, across SAS’ fleet.
"SAS is proud to become the first airline in the world to put a true end to ‘Flight Mode’ on Scandinavian and European as well as intercontinental flights,” said Robin Kamark, Chief Commercial Officer, SAS. “Together with Panasonic, SAS’ new in-flight connectivity options will include state of the art communication services, innovative entertainment options in addition to true broadband connectivity for both mobile and wireless computer usage.”
Paul Margis, Chief Executive Officer for Panasonic added, "SAS was an early adopter of connectivity with the earlier Connexion by Boeing service, and we are very excited to be working with them to bring true broadband solutions back to their passengers."
SAS will use Panasonic’s eXConnect system to provide in-flight broadband Internet access over WiFi to passengers. The eXPhone product, offered in collaboration with AeroMobile’s inflight mobile phone service, will allows SAS passengers to use their mobile phones, smart phones and BlackBerry devices onboard to make and receive voice calls if selected by the airline, send and receive SMS text messages, and use GPRS services such as email and internet access.
Pål Bjørdal, AeroMobile’s President and CEO commented, "Like SAS, AeroMobile is a company with a proud Scandinavian heritage. Working closely with our Norwegian parent company Telenor, we’re delighted to be enabling SAS to be the first Scandinavian airline to offer an inflight cellular service."