Mitsubishi to work on Boeing's satellite network

The Boeing and Mitsubishi Electric have announced plans to work together on the development of a satellite-based communications network that will eventually provide aircraft passengers with high-speed Internet access, live television and entertainment services.

The announcement comes a day after Boeing unveiled plans for the "Connexion by Boeing" service in New York.

Under the terms of an agreement announced by the two companies in Tokyo on Friday, Mitsubishi Electric will work with Boeing on the project as a regional partner initially in the Japan market but possibly extending to other regions in Asia.

Mitsubishi Electric has key technologies related to phase array antennas -- a vital part of the system developed by Boeing -- and this is one of the areas in which the two companies will work together. The Japanese company will also work with Boeing in obtaining satellite transponders -- slots on existing satellites from which the services can be broadcast -- and also in obtaining orbital slots -- virtual parking spaces in the sky where satellites can be located.

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