Connexion by Boeing Selects Mitsubishi Electric Corporation as Strategic Supplier for Next-Generation Antenna
Connexion By BoeingSM today announced the selection of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (Mitsubishi Electric) to design and produce the next-generation antenna for the Boeing business unit's high-speed data and Internet service. Once completed, the antenna will be optimized to provide commercial airlines and business jet operators with high-speed access to data, the Internet and streaming entertainment content during flight.
Under the terms of the agreement, Connexion by Boeing and Mitsubishi Electric will work together to design the antenna and supporting subsystem, and to ensure its suitability for retrofit and in-line installation on Boeing aircraft, as well as other industry models. Mitsubishi Electric also will assist Connexion by Boeing to ensure the first antenna production unit is installation-ready when it rolls off the assembly line in late 2003.
"Our team conducted a rigorous review of key industry suppliers' antenna capabilities, and Mitsubishi Electric met the airline industry requirements, as well as our criteria for next-generation performance and cost," said Connexion by Boeing President Scott Carson. "Having the right antenna solution supports our objective of delivering to the airlines a connectivity service that adds value, but not complexity, and one that will be service ready from Day One."
Mitsubishi Electric representatives actively participated in the Connexion Working Together meetings with representatives from 15 leading global airlines. At those sessions, designed to ensure the Connexion by Boeing service meets the requirements from those who know air travel best, Mitsubishi Electric received direct industry inputs on performance, weight and power requirements necessary for the next-generation antenna to meet both passenger and airline operational connectivity objectives. The decision to move forward with the next-generation antenna design was mutually agreed upon between Connexion by Boeing and the airlines after conducting an extensive trade study of the necessary performance and communication requirements.
"We are honored to be a key part of Connexion by Boeing by providing an enhanced solution for the next-generation antenna. Connexion by Boeing's decision also ensures our leading position in the mobile satellite communications market," said Tamotsu Nomakuchi, President & CEO of Mitsubishi Electric. "We appreciate Connexion by Boeing's spirit of 'working together' that has led us to this historic point since the early days when we became involved in the project. Through a spirit of partnership, Mitsubishi Electric will continue to provide the best technical solutions for Connexion by Boeing and its worldwide customers."
Connexion by Boeing will use the Boeing phased array antenna for the commencement of commercial airline service demonstrations and migrate to the enhanced next-generation antenna once production, testing and certification are complete. The next-generation antenna will incorporate a single aperture design that will provide enhanced satellite-to-aircraft scan angles and also use leading-edge beam pointing technology with enhanced electronics capabilities to precisely detect and track satellites from the aircraft during flight.
"We are very pleased that Mitsubishi Electric continues to be an integral, strategic member of the Connexion by Boeing team," Carson added, "and their capabilities in the area of antenna technology will further strengthen a relationship between Boeing and Japan-based companies that spans 50 years."
About Connexion by Boeing: The Connexion by Boeing service is currently available to the executive services market in the U.S., which includes operators of private and government aircraft. The Federal Communications Commission authorized services over U.S. territory on December 21, 2001. Connexion by Boeing also remains on track with leading European carrier Lufthansa to begin service trial in early 2003 and recently announced a service trial with British Airways that also will commence in early 2003. For additional information, visit the Connexion by Boeing web site at www.connexionbyboeing.com.
About Mitsubishi Electric Corporation: With over 80 years of experience in providing reliable, high-quality products to both corporate clients and general consumers all over the world, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (FTSE: 6503q.l) is a recognized world leader in the manufacture, marketing and sales of electrical and electronic equipment used in information processing and communications, space development and satellite communications, consumer electronics, industrial technology, energy, transportation and building equipment. With operations in 35 countries, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation recorded consolidated group sales of 3,649 billion yen (US$27 billion*) in the year ended March 31, 2002. Additional information on Mitsubishi Electric Corporation is available at www.mitsubishielectric.com.