Mission aligns with iDirect’s focus on multi-provider roaming
You can find wireless internet just about anywhere: in office buildings, public spaces, on cruise ships and even on trains. While you’re in the air, however? Today, internet access can be patchy, at best. To help contribute to a better connectivity experience from land and sea to sky, iDirect has joined the Seamless Air Alliance, a consortium of industry leaders across the ecosystem working toward an improved inflight connectivity experience for airline passengers.
The Seamless Air Alliance wants to make inflight connectivity as seamless and simple as connectivity that’s found on the ground. In the Seamless Air Alliance’s vision for that future, a traveler will be able to board any flight on any airline, anywhere in the world, and use his or her laptop, tablet or smartphone to automatically connect to the internet. No convoluted login process, no paywalls.
To achieve this, the Alliance is working to define an open standard system architecture for access to inflight connectivity, influenced by telco-based standards such as 3GPP, that will be adopted across the connectivity ecosystem and value chain. Satellite will play a key role in this future, allowing passengers to experience high-speed internet for the duration of a flight.
iDirect will use its industry experience as the leading VSAT ground infrastructure provider to the aero market to collaborate with the Seamless Air Alliance as we develop our multiple provider roaming solution, which support high performance connectivity to an aircraft. To provide a truly “seamless” experience, passengers’ smart devices will need to have the ability to quickly and easily switch from one terrestrial, Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G network to the aircraft system, while the aircraft switches from one satellite network to the next as it travels across national and international lines and through different satellite coverages.
iDirect’s multi-provider roaming solution, along with a multi-orbit and multi-technology strategy for 5G, will give aircraft the ability to roam across satellite networks. As a result, in-flight passengers will have a connectivity experience similar to when they roam over cellular networks on the ground.
iDirect will work alongside several other companies in the aero and satellite markets that have recently joined the Seamless Air Alliance. With further industry collaboration, a seamless inflight connectivity experience will soon be a reality.
During Mobile World Congress this week the Seamless Air Alliance will be represented as part of the Airbus stand (Hall 6, stand 6G34), where they will reveal specification topics that have been completed and published to its membership.