Sprint, Delta, Others Aim to Bring Broadband to the Big Blue Sky
A handful of companies have banded together with the goal of bringing real broadband to airplane passengers. The founding members of the Seamless Air Alliance include Sprint, Delta, Airbus, OneWeb, and Airtel. The idea is to let carriers "extend their services into airline cabins" so passengers have immediate access to high-speed internet while in the air. Mobile network operators would be able to reach airline passengers through the Seamless Air Alliance's satellites, which the group claims deliver the "same high speed, low latency connectivity from ground, to air and back again" as traditional cellular networks. One of the goals is to improve the on-boarding process. Today's in-flight WiFi service often requires painful connection steps that include entering credit card information. The Seamless Air Alliance believes in can "eliminate the immense costs and hurdles commonly associated with acquisition, installation, and operation of data access infrastructure" on airplanes with an open specification for interoperability. "With our 5G network rolling out next year we're investing heavily to make sure our customers have the best mobile internet experience possible," said Dow Draper, CCO at Sprint. "As an initial member of the Seamless Alliance, we're looking forward to enabling customers to experience Sprint's high-speed connectivity in the air, hassle-free." The founding members are inviting others to join the initiative.
PMA and A4WP Rebrand As the AirFuel Alliance
The Power Matters Alliance and Alliance for Wireless Power today announced plans to fully merge organizations under the AirFuel Alliance brand. The standard-bearers for wireless charging agreed to work together earlier this year, and today's rebranding is the final step in the process of creating a single consortium committed to improving the standards for and experience of wireless charging.
Gov't Revives Possibility of Voice Calls On Planes
The U.S. Department of Transportation on Thursday proposed rules that could eventually pave the way for making voice calls on airplanes.
Amazon, Google, Microsoft Working On Open Media Formats
A handful of tech companies this week launched the Alliance for Open Media with the intent of creating an open standard for high definition video that will be compatible with all devices across the web. The companies hope to field next-generation codecs that are interoperate and open, optimized for the web, and scalable to any device at any bandwidth.
Sprint to Give 1M Free Devices, Service to Low-Income Students
Sprint today said it plans to give away 1 million free devices with up to four years of service to low-income and/or disadvantaged high school students around the country. The program will provide a free smartphone, tablet, laptop, or hotspot device with 3 GB of high-speed LTE data per month.