The global partnership Seamless Alliance, whose other founding members include OneWeb, Airbus, Delta and Sprint, will work towards leveraging satellite technology to offer high-speed data connectivity to mobile users even when they are up in the air, an Airtel statement said.
"Airtel has joined the Seamless Alliance which will usher in a new era of open innovation for mobile operators and airlines by empowering mobile operators to extend their services into airline cabins," the statement added.
The global initiative, announced today in Barcelona, will also look at bringing into its fold other industry operators beyond the five founding members.
Together, these members hope to "eliminate the immense costs and hurdles commonly associated with acquisition, installation, and operation of data access infrastructure". This will be done by streamlining system integration and certification, providing open specifications for interoperability, increasing accessibility for passengers, and enabling simple and integrated billing, the statement added.
"We are delighted to be a founding member of this innovative technology platform to bring seamless connectivity to customers in the true sense,"Gopal Vittal, CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel, said.
Over 370 million mobile customers across Airtel's global network will be able to enjoy uninterrupted access to high-speed data services even while they are in-flight, he added.
Airtel is the third largest mobile operator in the world with operations in 16 countries across Asia and Africa.
"We look forward to collaborating with all partner members to ensure this platform goes Live at the earliest," Vittal said.