MIAMI — Airbus, Delta Air Lines, OneWeb, Sprint, and Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) teamed up to create the Seamless Air Alliance to provide customers of different airlines with high speed, low latency 5G connectivity via satellite technology.
The Seamless Air Alliance will empower member mobile operators to extend their services into airline cabins, according to a release by the group.
Dow Draper, Sprint COO, said the project is rolling out next year as the company is “investing heavily” to make sure airline customers have the best mobile Internet experience on all possible routes.
“What if the best internet you ever experienced was in the air?, said Greg Wyler, Founder and Executive Chairman of OneWeb. “Keeping this goal in mind, together, we will enable an affordable and frictionless experience for passengers everywhere.”
“With the launch of our first production satellites set for later this year, we’re one step closer to bridging the global Digital Divide on land and in the air,” he added.
READ MORE: Airlines Update Progress with Inflight Wi-Fi
The Seamless Air Alliance will provide customers open specifications for interoperability, increasing accessibility for passengers, and enabling simple and integrated billing.
Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel said explained that “over 370 million mobile customers across Airtel’s global network will be able to enjoy uninterrupted access to high-speed data services even while they are in-flight.”
Airtel is the third largest mobile operator in the world with operations in 16 countries across Asia and Africa.
Airbus, Delta, OneWeb, Sprint, Airtel announce the formation of Seamless Air Alliance
enabling airlines to empower passengers with seamless in-cabin connectivity experience. https://t.co/m30ze6jBR4 #PaxEx pic.twitter.com/73OEjXCGjo
— Airbus PRESS (@AirbusPRESS) February 26, 2018
“We’re excited to create this seamless experience for our airline customers and their passengers. As we showed with our Skywise aviation data platform, Airbus is committed to innovation that creates value across the aviation industry,” said Marc Fontaine, Airbus Digital Transformation Officer.
Gil West, Delta Air Lines SEVP & COO, also expressed the airline’s excitement to be collaborating on the alliance, as the carrier is looking for innovative ways to improve the customer experience. “We know that Delta customers have an expectation that their internet connection just works – no matter where they are in their travel journey.”
Additionally, West said Delta’s partner Gogo, will be joining the alliance as Delta develops the system.