Satellite giant Intelsat has joined the Seamless Air Alliance, a consortium that aims to develop and promote standards that can help create a better, more seamless, inflight connectivity experience for passengers.
According to the alliance, these standards are intended to 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. The standards could also enable mobile operators to extend their services into airline cabins so that airline passengers can board any flight anywhere in the world and use their own devices to automatically connect to the Internet, with no login process and no paywall.
“When boarding a plane for business or leisure, passengers want fast and easy access to high-quality, reliable broadband connectivity,” said Mark Rasmussen, VP and general manager, mobility at Intelsat. “That is why Intelsat continues to build a strong ecosystem of partners that will leverage 3GPP standards to create a seamless, global broadband infrastructure that offers airlines and passengers a consistent, uninterrupted experience. By joining the Seamless Air Alliance, Intelsat continues to take a leading role in shaping a global network that leverages different technologies and constellations. As the exclusive channel partner for OneWeb’s mobility applications, Intelsat looks forward to collaborating with OneWeb, existing partners such as Gogo and other network operators, to develop the standards needed to provide a seamless operational and passenger experience in the skies.”
With satellite serving as the primary means to connecting aircraft, Intelsat will contribute in the integration of geostationary and low-Earth orbit satellite solutions into the hybrid network and help define standards, test equipment and develop service packages focused on the aeronautical market.
Jack Mandala, CEO of the Seamless Air Alliance added that, “Over the next 90 days our Working Groups will develop and draft deliverables that will shape the future of in-flight connectivity, and having Intelsat participate in that process is incredibly valuable.”