SITA has announced that it has become the world’s first global mobile data services provider dedicated to the air transport industry. Through a partnership agreement with Orange Business Services, the air transport communications specialist is providing global data connectivity to airlines enabling the secure use of mobile data, machine-to-machine (M2M) and application to person (A2P) technologies worldwide.
Orange Business Services and its international M2M centre (IMC) is supplying SITA with 2G / 3G data connectivity with extensive availability and international coverage that includes in excess of 400 roaming agreements in more than 180 countries. This connectivity has the added advantage of 100% national roaming so that SITA’s airline customers always benefit from the best, and most cost-effective, network.
SITA already provides a mobile workforce solution to airlines that are today embracing mobile data applications such as electronic flight bags (EFBs), wireless bag management and mobile passenger applications. By becoming the first global mobile data services provider for the industry, SITA now delivers a one-stop-shop solution that includes middleware, managed devices, Wi-Fi connectivity at airports and global 3G data connectivity.
Francesco Violante, CEO, SITA said: “As the adoption of mobile devices and data transfer soars worldwide, the air transport industry requires a high-performing, cost-effective service that provides consistent connectivity globally. SITA has partnered with Orange Business Services because it provides global coverage at competitive rates. Together we are combining this high standard of data connectivity with SITA’s knowledge of the air transport industry to make the use of mobile applications most effective.”
Vivek Badrinath, senior executive vice president for enterprise services at France Telecom Orange and CEO of Orange Business Services, said: “We are proud to add mobile data connectivity to our seven-year partnership with SITA on a large portfolio of telecommunications services. And we are happy to provide Orange’s extensive experience of over ten years in M2M as well as the expertise developed by our international M2M centre and the key role our group plays in M2M standardisation. Combined with SITA’s industry expertise, it will provide the air transport industry with a service that is specifically designed for this unique sector.
“Thanks to more than 400 roaming agreements and central monitoring capabilities, the headache of negotiating and managing multiple agreements in different regions will be eliminated for airlines. In addition, our capacity to provide several network partners in a single country, and to connect airline data centres via Orange’s global MPLS network, will ensure that airlines will always get both the best quality and the most economical service in any country with secured connections everywhere in the world.”
The size of the mobile data market is significant and growing 25% annually; according to Berg Insight more than 187 million cellular connections are expected in 2014. To effectively handle this scale of traffic requires not only connectivity but also a close understanding of application and context specifics. SITA’s service, designed for the unique needs of the global air transport industry, includes end-to-end infrastructure, a managed SIMs supply chain and self-care administration portal for optimised use.
Violante added: “SITA believes that the industry is crying out for a global secure network for mobile devices. In particular, performance and security are concerns for critical applications such as EFBs which are used to download flight plans and other data for pilots. Our new service, SITA mobile data access, provides by default an access point name (APN) to each customer and can offer virtual private network (VPN) tunnels to ensure the security for such M2M data communications.”
SITA now offers the industry all major connectivity technology: wireline, Wi-Fi and cellular (2G / 3G) and is providing wireless connectivity in more than 180 countries.