Telecom services provider Bharti Airtel has joined the ‘Seamless Alliance’– which will usher in a new era of open innovation for mobile operators and airlines by empowering mobile operators to extend their services into airline cabins.
Member operators, including Airtel, will be able to continuously provide their customers – via satellite technology – the same high speed, low latency connectivity from ground, to air and back again. It will also significantly reduce costs for everyone involved while creating a smooth, positive user-experience.
The formation of ‘Seamless Alliance’ was announced today in Barcelona. Other founding members include OneWeb, Airbus, Delta and Sprint. The global alliance – which aims to attract additional industry operators beyond the five founding members – will eliminate the immense costs and hurdles commonly associated with acquisition, installation, and operation of data access infrastructure by streamlining system integration and certification, providing open specifications for interoperability, increasing accessibility for passengers, and enabling simple and integrated billing.
Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel, said, “We are delighted to be a founding member of this innovative technology platform to bring seamless connectivity to customers in the true sense. 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. We look forward to collaborating with all partner members to ensure this platform goes live at the earliest.”
Airtel is the third largest mobile operator in the world with operations in 16 countries across Asia and Africa.
“What if the best internet you ever experienced was in the air? Keeping this goal in mind, together, we will enable an affordable and frictionless experience for passengers everywhere,” said Greg Wyler, Founder and Executive Chairman of OneWeb. “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.”
“Easy-to-use, high-speed connectivity is part of the next revolution in aerospace,” said Marc Fontaine, Airbus Digital Transformation Officer. “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.”
“We know that Delta customers have an expectation that their internet connection just works – no matter where they are in their travel journey,” said Gil West, SEVP & COO. “Delta is constantly looking at innovative ways to improve the customer experience. We are excited to be collaborating with other visionary companies, and that our existing partner GoGo will be joining the alliance as Delta develops a system that not only benefits Delta customers, but the entire airline industry.”
“With our 5G network rolling out next year, we’re investing heavily to make sure our customers have the best mobile Internet experience possible,” said Dow Draper, Chief Commercial Officer, Sprint. “As an initial member of the Seamless Alliance, we’re looking forward to enabling customers to experience Sprint’s high-speed connectivity in the air, hassle-free.”
Michael Small, CEO of GoGo, added: “As the current market-leader in inflight connectivity, GoGo is excited to join the Seamless Alliance. We look forward to working with the alliance to develop future generations of inflight connectivity, which will provide airline passengers worldwide with simple, fast and reliable connectivity.”