Is onboard mobile roaming about to be improved?


A new collaboration is working to facilitate and accelerate the availability of seamless mobile roaming onboard commercial airlines. The partnership is between the Seamless Air Alliance, a body leading the development and implementation of global standards for inflight connectivity, and GSMA, an organisation working to unify the world’s mobile ecosystem.

In recent months, collaborations between mobile network operators (MNOs) and US-based carriers such as American, Delta, United and Alaska Airlines have provided a preview of what the future holds for similar agreements. The Seamless Air Alliance and GSMA hope their joint initiative will help drive further cooperation between global carriers and mobile network operators worldwide and enable a co-created scalable roaming framework.

Commenting on the announcement, Jack Mandala, CEO of Seamless Air Alliance said, “Working with the GSMA positions us in front of over 750 mobile network operators and other service providers, paving the way to open dialogue and cooperation in bringing roaming services to airlines worldwide. The agreement with the GSMA is a ringing validation of our goal to bring seamless connectivity to airlines and their passengers.”

Under the terms of their agreement, the Seamless Air Alliance and the GSMA will work together to develop contract and request for proposal templates to assist with roaming proposals and negotiations.

Alex Sinclair, CTO of the GSMA added that: “We’ve come a long way since the first SMS was sent in 1992, but even now there is no guarantee that airline passengers can connect with their contacts on the ground during a flight. Our collaboration with the Seamless Air Alliance will facilitate and accelerate agreements between airlines and MNOs around their own route network to improve connectivity. We are excited to work with members of the Seamless Air Alliance to bring mobile roaming to the skies and deliver the best possible customer experience for airline passengers.”

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Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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