Seamless Air Alliance Defines OpenIFC-Compliant Hardware

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Seamless Air Alliance’s CEO, Jack Mandala, expects the new OpenIFC platform to quickly become a favorite of airlines, as it will help to drive down the cost of individual components and increase the upgrade and deployment cycle speeds.

Seamless Air Alliance is making good on its promise to standardize the in-flight connectivity (IFC) ecosystem. Following on from Seamless Release 1 (SR1), its first set of technical documents published in February this year, the group has now issued Seamless Release 2.0 (SR2) to its members.

SR2 provides specific definitions for each network component within an IFC system. Together with guidance from SR1, these definitions mean that suppliers can design and deliver OpenIFC-compliant hardware to the industry.

With the new release, Jack Mandala, Seamless Air Alliance’s CEO, said airlines will be able to “purchase best-of-breed components in a multi-vendor ecosystem, improving the efficiency of deploying, operating and maintaining in-flight systems – which is especially important as recent events have highlighted the critical role of connectivity.”

Intelsat, an early member of Seamless Air Alliance, recently announced a definitive agreement to acquire Gogo’s commercial aviation business. Mark Richman, Intelsat’s director of Aero Products, said, “We have the opportunity to redefine the IFC ecosystem and passenger experience. Our open architecture network delivers unique value with the redundancy and resiliency needed to scale a premium internet service to every passenger, from gate to gate. We remain fully committed to the Seamless Air Alliance and its mission to develop exceptional standards for the commercial aero industry.”

The organization added several new members in recent months, welcoming American Airlines, Deutsche Telekom, International Airlines Group (IAG), SES, Telesat and Thales Group.

In addition to hardware commonality, it is working towards improvements in connectivity roaming and billing systems. The former was the initial impetus for the Alliance’s launch, driven by terrestrial service providers.

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