Air travel with high-speed internet access is still considered a fantasy due to the technical difficulties associated with Wi-Fi. Nowadays, this experience is often unpleasant for both passengers and airlines: providing Wi-Fi onboard is in almost 100% of cases a costly headache. But it could be changed soon if the nonprofit Seamless Air Alliance succeeds in creating a single in-flight communications standard.
The need to install hardware and software, maintenance, and the inability to switch between providers quickly complicates the task of providing Wi-Fi onboard aircraft. Seamless Air Alliance intends to fix it by developing a single global standard that will ensure uninterrupted Internet access for passengers at a minimal cost. The corresponding standard is called Seamless Release 1.0.
Head of Seamless Air Alliance Jack Mandala said that now companies are forced to use equipment configured for a specific provider. The adoption of a universal protocol should change the situation for the better, and everyone will benefit from it. Airlines will be able to change providers and save billions of dollars easily. At the same time, passengers will receive high-quality, high-speed, and unlimited Wi-Fi, which will work everywhere.
Moreover, it is possible to maintain a connection with seamless switching when passengers will be walking between the terminals until boarding the plane. It means that passengers will not have to connect to the network several times and re-enter the login information each time.
Today, the Seamless Air Alliance includes about 30 companies, including Panasonic, Nokia, Airbus, Virgin Atlantic, SoftBank, and Vodafone.