Paris Air Show

Seamless Air Alliance Touts Open Architecture Connectivity

 - June 15, 2019, 9:54 AM

The Seamless Air Alliance (SAA), committed to the development of open architecture platforms for next-generation in-flight connectivity, is demonstrating key technologies that will underpin those systems this week at the Paris Air Show 2019. Formed in early 2018, SAA (Hall 6 Booth B49) now has more than 20 members, including Airbus, Collins Aerospace, Delta Air Lines, Inmarsat, and Safran.

“This demonstration is a big step for the Alliance in showcasing the progress that we have made in recent months,” said SAA CEO Jack Mandala. “We want to empower airlines with more control over the connectivity experience delivered to their passengers.”

With the support of Alliance members GlobalReach Technology (GRT), Sprint, and Boingo, the alliance demonstrated on Monday in Paris Hotspot 2.0., representing part of the Alliance’s work in promoting open standards, Wi-Fi cellular, and 5G technologies. Since its launch in 2013, mobile network operators worldwide have used Boingo’s Hotspot 2.0 and its encryption protocols to automatically configure devices to connect to Wi-Fi networks at airports, hotels, and other venues.

“Wi-Fi is crucial for today’s travelers,” said GRT chief product officer Mark Carter. “Hotspot 2.0 provides passengers with secure, frictionless connectivity across multiple devices and planes.”

Seamless ground to in-air connectivity promises “an entirely new level of convenience, productivity, and entertainment for travelers,” said Sprint v-p of product marketing and innovation Doug Smith. Mandala added, “Open specifications will drive down the cost and complexity [of inflight connectivity] for airlines.”

Indeed, a research study that SAA released at this year’s World Mobile Congress in Barcelona concluded technology standardization would increase the value of the in-flight connectivity market by $11.4 billion (€1.57 billion).

U.S.-based SAA also introduced in Paris a new membership tier designed to enable airlines of all sizes to join the alliance. The next SAA members’ meeting is scheduled for July 10 to 11 in London.