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Panasonic Avionics Corporation Licenses iDirect’s Satellite IP Router Technology To Power In-Flight Broadband System


Next-generation satellite transmission platform expands end user applications for in-flight Internet broadband, solves technical and operational challenges that grounded previous solutions

Herndon, Va., and Lake Forest, Calif., July 2008 – VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a subsidiary of VT Systems Inc. (VT Systems), and Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic), the world’s leading supplier of in-flight entertainment (IFE) and communication systems, today announced a major technology licensing agreement. Panasonic will license iDirect’s satellite IP router technology as a core component of the Panasonic eXConnect in-flight satellite transmission platform. Panasonic eXConnect provides two-way broadband connectivity for a broad range of passenger and crew applications, including Internet access as well as live video programming, telemedicine and the ability to monitor and report critical flight information in real time. iDirect is a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology.

Representing a next-generation solution, Panasonic eXConnect will overcome critical technical limitations of delivering in-flight broadband connectivity and expand airlines’ opportunities to market the service. The system features significantly lighter airborne electronics equipment, an ultra-small satellite antenna, iDirect’s highly efficient spread spectrum mobile waveform and Intelsat’s global Ku-band broadband coverage. In addition, Panasonic eXConnect leverages iDirect’s award-winning “Group Quality of Service” bandwidth management technology, which enables airlines to integrate and deliver a wide range of services beyond basic Internet access. These include live and premium in-flight entertainment services as well as voice applications, and allow airlines to capture additional pay-per-use and advertising revenues.

By implementing iDirect’s satellite IP router technology, Panasonic is also able to reduce the operating cost and complexity of supporting in-flight broadband connectivity and offer the service for both continental and inter-continental flights.

The next-generation system is distinguished by:

* More affordable use of satellite bandwidth: Ultra-small satellite antennae on an aircraft require increased transmission powers and satellite bandwidth to maintain a reliable link while in motion. To overcome this challenge, Panasonic eXConnect will feature iDirect’s innovative spread spectrum mobile waveform. The iDirect waveform diffuses the transmission of satellite bandwidth while maintaining a high data rate. This dramatically conserves satellite space segment and lowers bandwidth costs for airlines.
* Cost-effective network expansion: Through the iDirect satellite router, the eXConnect system leverages Intelsat’s global fleet of 53 in-orbit satellites and on-the-ground teleport facilities. Satellite carriers can be scaled to the bandwidth needs of specific geographical regions, providing a cost-effective means to meet current demand and increase network capacity as demand grows.
* Simplified global network management: With iDirect’s Global Network Management System, Panasonic can manage and track each satellite router from a single network management system, instead of using multiple systems typically required to manage a global, hybrid network. In addition, iDirect’s Automatic Beam Switching feature enables the antenna to automatically transfer connectivity from one satellite to the next as an aircraft travels across satellite footprints.

“We are proud to be working with iDirect to deliver the next-generation satellite transmission platform for eXConnect. iDirect develops world-renowned technology, leveraging Intelsat’s global satellite fleet and network infrastructure. We believe iDirect is best prepared to help Panasonic provide airlines with a satellite communications technology to reduce operating costs and improve daily operations.”

Chief Executive Officer, Panasonic Avionics Corporation

“The core capabilities for in-flight broadband have existed for years, but until recently they were far too inefficient and costly for airlines to operate profitably. iDirect has developed new technologies for the satellite industry to overcome mobile broadband challenges. Today, a powerful combination of next-generation capabilities from Panasonic, Intelsat and iDirect will soon make broadband connectivity a vital new dimension of air travel.”

Chief Technology Officer, iDirect


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