For years, airlines are struggling to find a way to make airline WiFi work at 40,000 feet. Have they finally cracked the code? Yes, it seems like that. Soon we can expect hassle-free internet access during air travel.
Internet access is an expensive headache for airlines because the hardware, software and maintenance involve technical difficulties. It is not an easy thing to switch between service providers.
Now, a company claims that they have developed a new tech architecture that can enable in-flight internet connectivity. The systems are modular including open interfaces that make swapping easy.
The Seamless Air Alliance, that’s the name of that nonprofit group comprising 30 companies. The question, can in-flight connectivity match ground quality internet?
The alliance includes some big names like Delta Air Lines Inc. and Airbus SE. These 2 bigwigs will take care of equipment manufacturing. For satellites, Seamless is joining hands with Vodafone Group Plc., Intelsat SA, Nokia Oyj and Panasonic Avionics.
The alliance CEO said, “we have equipment that only works with the provider they’ve chosen.” He believes that universal adoption will surely change things in a positive way.
Good airport experience for passengers
The passengers will surely have a terrific airport experience if this alliance succeeds. You can watch movies and series as you wish. No need to log in or pay.
Mandala also said that consumer experience is a brand-damaging event that needs to be given utmost care. The worst part, passengers blame the airline for poor internet connectivity and not the service provider.
The new protocols are helping airlines by allowing them to adopt new technologies rapidly. Airlines can change service providers easily and manage airline WiFi efficiently. Thanks to low Earth orbit satellites which makes things easier for tech companies.
Key players will play key roles
This means we can expect some of the tech giants to step in. Satellite projects like Amazon.com’s Project Kuiper, Elon Musk’s Starlink, Softbank funded OneWeb.
Mandala also expressed his views about growing competition in the internet sector. Increase in competition helps airlines to give the best in-flight connectivity to their passengers. Competition helps airlines to tap new standards.
In-flight connectivity market will be worth $11.4 billion if internet connected aircraft increases in number. Now we have a fleet of 10,000 and we need 25,500 by 2028.
The future is bright or dark?
The bad thing is that still now key industry players have not entered this market. That includes Verizon Communications Inc., Boeing Co., Gogo Inc., and American Airlines Group Inc.
Mandala believes that if the market expands and consumer buying rate increases, it’s just a matter of time for these companies to chip in.
High prices, interrupting internet connections and tiring buying process agitates consumers. That’s why they stick to watching movies and shows that are aired using airlines internet servers.
Mandala firmly believes that if we provide next-gen in-flight connectivity, passengers will surely buy them. More consumer purchases entice big players to step into this market. This will break the artificial barriers that are restraining the growth of the aircraft industry.
Once we have more players offering quality service, the price would automatically come down.