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New alliance wants to improve terrible in-flight internet

The group wants to allow mobile providers to deliver in-flight internet access directly.
Swapna Krishna, @skrishna
February 26, 2018
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Joshua Roberts / Reuters

The frustrations of internet access aboard commercial aircraft may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to the Seamless Air Alliance. Formed by Airbus, Delta, OneWeb, Sprint and Airtel, the group aims to improve the connectivity experience for passengers aboard aircraft by allowing mobile operators to provide internet access directly via satellite tech.

The group aims to reduce the costs and headaches associated with the installation and operation of the infrastructure required to provide connectivity on aircraft. The end goal is to work together to cut costs and provide passengers with fast, reliable internet onboard aircraft. It would combine higher speeds with a better user experience because passengers wouldn't have to pay separately for internet access once on board.

Anyone who's regularly used an airplane internet connection knows how dismal the experience can be, so this is a positive step forward. It's too early to say when this alliance will start having tangible effects, and it's important that more airline industry companies sign on to make it a reality, but anything that improves in-flight internet is a win in our book.

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