Very small aperture terminal (VSAT) solutions provider Nelco, a Tata Group firm, has entered into a partnership with Lake Forest, California-based Panasonic Avionics to roll out aero in-flight communication (IFC) services in India.
With this, Nelco becomes the first Indian company to provide the service, which will enable international aircraft flying over the country, as well as domestic airlines, to provide broadband internet services to its passengers, a statement said.
Part of the $116 billion Tata Group, Nelco started in 1940 as an electronics company.
"We are delighted to be partnering with Nelco and are proud to offer our valued customers the ability to change the way people stay connected inflight, at sea and in remote locations around the world,” Ken Sain, CEO, Panasonic Avionics, said.
Tata Group owned airline Vistara has already signed up for the aero IFC service and is likely to be the first domestic airline to use it.
In 2018, the government had announced licenses for in-flight and maritime communications (IFMC) to set up broadband internet services that can be used while flying over the Indian skies and sailing in Indian waters, for both international and domestic aircraft and vessels.
Founded in 1979, Panasonic Avionics designs, engineers, manufactures, sells and installs customised in-flight entertainment and communications solutions to airlines worldwide. It is a subsidiary of the Panasonic Corporation of North America.
Mumbai-based information technology services giant TCS signed a deal to expand its partnership with Richard Branson-promoted Virgin Atlantic last year in November. The partnership, which dates back to 2004 and started with backend IT support functions, now covers new technology programmes for the digital channels of the airline.
In December last year, engineering major L&T Technology Services (LTTS) won an avionics contract from Airbus. It now manages Airbus India’s avionics software development and validation.