A new milestone in providing secure and hassle-free Internet in the skies has been reached by Seamless Air Alliance, which has published the first standard for inflight connectivity. The Seamless Air Alliance is an open, international collaboration of airlines, technology leaders, and suppliers formed to improve the way airlines build out connectivity to support continuous innovation and allow rapid upscaling in the market.
Developed in collaboration with industry experts across Seamless Air Alliance’s member companies, Seamless Release 1.0 establishes the only Modular Platform Architecture for inflight connectivity. By using a modular structure based on open interfaces, the system enables rapid adoption of new technologies without requiring customization or the complete replacement of equipment on the aircraft or fleet.
Seamless Release 1.0 enables long-term technical flexibility for airlines, provides a secure and easy-to-access service for passengers, and opens the door to seamless roaming with mobile network operators. Seamless Release 1.0 includes a set of unique, testable requirements for airlines to use when developing sourcing requests. In addition to saving the airline time and money to develop these requirements, standards eliminate the risk of trying to predict how future developments will impact their choice of systems.
“Passenger demands for inflight connectivity are still ahead of the performance of systems, putting increasing pressure on airlines to find a way to meet these expectations and gain passenger loyalty,” said Jack Mandala, Seamless Air Alliance CEO. “Seamless Release 1.0 changes the game by enabling airlines to take advantage of new capacity and innovations faster and more cost-effectively than ever before.”
Sherif Bakir, CEO of Vodafone Roaming Services, added: "While inflight connectivity is already available today, the experience of customers varies from one airline to another in terms of things like simplicity and data speeds. With rising consumer connectivity needs, this new standard is a promising first step towards a much improved and consistent inflight customer experience."
Additional details of Seamless Release 1.0 are available in a newly published technology brief, titled “Seamless Air Alliance Introduction to SR1 – A New Era of Inflight Connectivity”.
The publication of the standard, which is available for any Seamless Air Alliance member to view in full, enables airlines and mobile operators to easily deploy, integrate and operate on-board networks by having a choice of different suppliers and open interfaces from where they can source modular parts, subsystems and software. This design means multi-supplier IFC systems can be built quickly to support future technology upgrades that do not require customizations.