World's third largest telecom operator Airtel today announced its partnership with Seamless Alliance to offer high-speed in-flight data connectivity to Airtel mobile customers across the globe. Airtel currently has over 370 million subscribers across the world with operations across 16 countries, and the company stated that all the Airtel customers would be able to enjoy uninterrupted access to high-speed data services even while they are in flight. This is the first global partnership for the year, and other founding members of Seamless Alliance include OneWeb, Airbus, Delta and Sprint.
The founding members will work towards leveraging satellite technology to offer high-speed data connectivity to mobile users even when they're flying. This partnership is announced at the ongoing Mobile World Congress tech show in Barcelona.
"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," a statement from Airtel added.
“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,” said Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel.
As stated, Airtel has now become a member of Seamless Alliance, which allows the telco to continuously provide their customers - via satellite technology - the same high speed, low latency connectivity from the ground, to air and back again. It will also significantly reduce costs for everyone involved while creating a smooth, positive user experience.
In-flight connectivity in India has been approved by the government, and the service will be open to travellers in the next couple of months. It would be interesting to see the in-flight connectivity service in local airlines.