OneWeb, the Low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, has announced a distribution partner agreement with Hughes Network Systems for the provision of LEO connectivity services to the global airline market.
As a worldwide OneWeb distributor, Hughes is now launching LEO in-flight connectivity (IFC) solutions, powered by the company’s lightweight and low-profile electronically steered antenna (ESA), designed to give airlines access to fast inflight wi-fi for passengers.
The new Hughes technologies include a LEO-only offering and what the company says is an industry-first hybrid system that leverages Hughes Fusion technologies, which transform any geostationary orbit (GEO) aero service into fast, low latency onboard wi-fi. Both systems are powered by the Hughes LEO antenna.
“The best way to provide airlines and passengers with faster, more consistent and truly global broadband service is with a variety technologies and partnerships. Hughes is a trusted, strategic partner of OneWeb, and we’re delighted to extend this partnership to include our aviation services,” said Ben Griffin, vice president mobility at OneWeb. “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 has also engineered the gateways for the OneWeb ground network, and engineered and manufactures the core module used in every terminal in the system to power the LEO connectivity. As a distribution partner for fixed satellite services across the Americas and India, Hughes also distributes OneWeb services to the US Department of Defense.