SITAONAIR, an inflight mobile service provider, has entered into a partnership with mobile network operator Etisalat. As per the agreement, the two parties will collaborate on delivering novel inflight cellular services for commercial aviation.
Subscribers of Etisalat’s business roaming packs will be able to use their data and minutes inflight, while on any airline that utilises SITAONAIR’s Mobile ONAIR network.
Commenting on the partnership, Yann Cabaret, VP Customer Programs at SITAONAIR, said: “We have long encouraged our mobile network operator partners to bring inflight mobile usage rates as close as possible to on-the-ground mobile usage rates. This roaming agreement takes this even further, with the world of inflight mobile connectivity opened up to all Etisalat customers when they fly, with no additional usage costs, and a seamless mobile experience up in the air, just as they have at home.
“We fully expect the growth in mobile users to continue, as customers’ hunger for data grows with the available capacity – especially in a 5G world, where data could transmit at a rate of 1GB per second, driving the delivery of new Internet of Things, augmented and virtual reality, automation and artificial intelligence services and capabilities. To meet this future demand, major mobile operators have announced their plan to move into the 5G era with early commercial launches in 2019, including in the UAE.
“Airlines need to be ready to respond to this changing mobile reality. To meet their passengers’ burgeoning demand, they will need a gameplan for providing future-proof inflight mobile connectivity that delivers seamless, high-capacity and dynamic connected experience onboard, as we fly to 4G and beyond.”