Panasonic has taken a big step forward in its bid to position itself for the mobile technology revolution by taking a majority stake in inflight mobile connectivity provider Aeromobile.
Previous outright owner Telenor will continue to hold a minority stake for now. Yasu Enokido, president and chief operating officer for Panasonic Avionics Corporation said, "This is a natural extension of Panasonic Avionics' longstanding partnership with AeroMobile. We believe that, as a result of this transaction, our customers will benefit from an increased level of integration between our two companies."
Pål Bjordal, AeroMobile's president and chief executive officer added, "We are very excited to strengthen our ability to offer the highest levels of service to our airline customers and their passengers. We believe that this arrangement demonstrates the importance of this business both to Telenor and Panasonic, and by taking an active ownership position, Panasonic is clearly demonstrating its commitment to supporting this business in the future."
Panasonic said, "Moving forward, AeroMobile will continue to operate as an independent company, offering industry-leading in-flight voice and data services. The company will continue to maintain and expand its global telecom roaming agreements and bring the AeroMobile service to an ever widening group of passengers."
eXPhone is offered by Panasonic, in collaboration with AeroMobile's in-flight mobile phone service. It allows passengers to use their mobile phones to make and receive voice calls and SMS text messages in flight, along with data services such as emails.