Removing the friction of registration and payment will increase adoption of inflight wifi services. That’s the plan for vendors across the industry and for AeroMobile, a subsidiary of Panasonic Avionics, tying the connection to a cell phone plan rather than a separate login and payment scheme helps bridge that gap. It also presents the potential for sticker shock when passengers see the bill for their roaming services after the flight. Two recently announced deals will help reduce the costs for cell phone users in Thailand and the UAE.
In the UAE subscribers to du’s “Roaming data bundle on preferred networks” can now use the AeroMobile service as part of their data allocation, just as it they were on the ground. The deal extends the roaming package to cover inflight services on top of the 86 countries it typically includes. Because the rates charged in flight will vary by airline it is necessary for consumers to compare the options as they get online. Or just go with the known roaming costs from the outset.
Compared to the wifi pricing on an Emirates flight the roaming charge is likely to be higher than buying direct though the inflight portal, but the connection is a much easier process. And the new roaming rate is significantly less expensive than before AeroMobile and du signed the preferred roaming agreement. On other airlines the prices could skew the other direction, especially when megabyte packages come into play.
Subscribers to the TrueMobile netowrk in Thailand can now roam on to the AeroMobile-equipped aircraft with preferred rates as well. Much like connecting to the wifi on a Thai Airways aircraft, the program is a megabyte package. And the prices are not especially compelling. But the AeroMobile option does deliver a significant discount versus the direct login approach.
A 100 megabyte package prices around $6.50 compared to an eye-watering $20 if purchased separately on board.
Our TrueMove H post-paid customers expect a high-quality user experience, and through our partnership with AeroMobile we are now able to offer valued inflight roaming service at an attractive price. We are delighted to bring this new service to our customers, who will be able to enjoy seamless, high-quality and secure roaming at 20,000 feet. – Ms. Parinthon Tansuthepverawong , General Manager of True Corporation