SIA to offer a full suite of inflight connectivity services

Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) passengers will soon enjoy a full suite of inflight connectivity services, provided by OnAir and powered by Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband.

The innovation will be introduced from as early as the first half of 2011, and progressively on flights operated by SIA’s Airbus A380, Airbus A340-500 and Boeing B777-300ER aircraft.

The multimillion-dollar collaboration with OnAir includes a full suite of onboard communication offerings, allowing customers access to Wi-Fi internet and mobile telephony services.

The new inflight service will enable customers to send and receive SMS text messages with their GSM-compatible mobile phones, send and receive email messages easily on smartphones and BlackBerry devices, and make and receive voice calls.
“Unlike the earlier trial introduction of an Internet service, this suite of features is for full implementation, and we are pleased to offer this as an added choice to our inflight programme,” said Yap Kim Wah, SIA’s senior vice-president, product and services.

Singapore Airlines’ connectivity partner OnAir has roaming agreements with about 200 mobile network operators globally, including the three main
operators in Singapore.
Customers, who use the mobile telephony services, will see their usage reflected in the monthly bills from their home mobile phone operator where international GSM roaming rates apply. For internet access, customers can sign up for an access package upon logging in to the system.

Details of the charges will be announced closer to the launch.

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Margie T Logarta

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  • The internet is welcome, but phone calls are not unless SQ imposes some strict rules such as:

    1. All phones on silent mode. Who wants to be sleeping when some inane ringtone goes off next to you, or some other git is using SMS with a Nokia phone set on the default “beep beep….. beep beep” notification constantly?

    2. People should make or take calls away from their seat (in bathrooms or bathroom/galley common areas) especially during nighttime flights.

    I pay to fly C class primarily so I can sleep on long haul flights, the same reason I turn off my mobile phone when I sleep at home or in hotels.

    The last thing I want is to have the incessant banality of loud phone calls, ring tones or other tones going off on a plane. Train companies in the UK and continental Europe increasingly have quiet coaches to avoid this so one can relax or concentrate working. If SQ doesn’t have strict rules on this and enforce them, then I will simply avoid any flights it has with such a service.

  • I agree with ScottWilson…this fills me with dread. Hopefully the cost will be prohibative for most people, but there are increasingly people addicted to their devices and I imaging the initial novelty of the product will ensure plenty of text messages are sent and received in the early days.

    Don’t just look at train companies in the UK with their quite coaches – look to Japan where despite the widespread use of phones, they’re banned from use on trains entirely – and people their accept and adhere to it.

  • I second ScottWilson fully. I will boycott SQ unless they do at least the above, which will be unenforceable because loud bores are loud bores, so I will just boycott until they drove the evil mobile calls.

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