Airbus, Delta Air Lines, OneWeb, Sprint, and India-based Bharti Airtel have announced the formation of the Seamless Air Alliance, which will allow member mobile operators to extend their services into airline cabin.
The members of the alliance will be able to use satellite technology, most likely served by OneWeb, at a reduced cost.
“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.”
Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel said: “We are delighted to be an initial 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.”
The alliance has given no indication of the targeted operational date; however, OneWeb is slated to launch its first 10 satellites, manufactured by Airbus, in 2018.