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Panasonic Avionics has signed a deal with Eutelsat to use its high throughput satellites to deliver in-flight Wi-Fi coverage. The satellites, which are set to launch in 2017, will use a combination of spot beams and high level frequency re-use to provide high bandwidth and quicker data speeds. Panasonic claimed that by using Eutelsat's 172B satellite, it will deliver 200MB per spot beam, which it said was four times more bandwidth than its nearest competitor. It added its broad overlay beam can transmit up to eight channels of live television to an aircraft in flight, according Press Wire. The Wi-Fi service is set to be used on routes between the west coast of the United States and Asia, as well as to Australia and the Pacific Islands.

Paul Margis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics, commented: "Demand for in-flight connectivity is increasing exponentially, especially in Asia. This agreement with a capable technology partner such as Eutelsat represents a continuation of our commitment to serve the aviation industry with the most capable and comprehensive connectivity solution available today and in the future.”

Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat Chairman and CEO said: “Eutelsat 172B is ideally positioned to serve the rapidly growing in-flight connectivity market in this region, and we welcome Panasonic Avionics Corp. as an anchor tenant on this state-of-the-art satellite.”

Earlier this month, Inmarsat said it was planning to bring in-flight connectivity to Europe, by building a new S-band satellite. British Airways is likely to become the first European airline to offer its service.

Last November, the European Commission announced it was adopting new rules that will allow passengers on-board airplanes flying over the EU to use 3G and 4G broadband services.

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