Airbus and U.S.-based Delta Air Lines have formed an alliance with GoGo, U.S. wireless carrier Sprint Corp and satellite startup OneWeb to develop inflight 5G services.
The alliance, referred to as "Seamless Air Alliance," aims to let mobile operators provide services to airline customers through satellite technology, the companies said in a statement.
Sprint will be launching its 5G network next year, the company's Chief Commercial Officer Dow Draper said on Monday.
Michael Small, CEO of Gogo added: “As the market-leader in inflight connectivity, Gogo is excited to join the Seamless Alliance. We look forward to working with the Alliance to develop future generations of inflight connectivity, which will provide airline passengers worldwide with simple, fast and reliable connectivity”
A joint statement issued through Airbus promised the initiative "will usher in a new era of innovation for airlines on all routes" with "simple and automatic billing, significantly faster speeds, greater bandwidth for applications like streaming movies, and lower latency for the Web and interactive applications like gaming."
"By enabling mobile operators to extend their services into the cabin, passengers will seamlessly login with all their devices" from laptops through to smartwatches "enabled through your current mobile operators platform," without requiring any special login or credit card payment.
"The goal is to create an improved passenger experience to enable the same level of connectivity they experience in their living room, now on board their flight, anywhere they fly."