AT&T’s International Day Pass roaming plan is taking to the skies. The company signed an agreement with Panasonic Avionics subsidiary Aeromobile to deliver roaming services on board, providing an extra dimension to the in-flight connectivity experience.
We have seen mobile network operators around the globe — especially the Middle East, Europe, and Asia — launch compelling in-flight retail offers, and we’re excited that operators in the U.S. are now embracing the overseas in-flight connectivity market. – John Wade, Vice President of In-flight Connectivity at Panasonic Avionics
The deal allows passengers to connect on fitted aircraft simply by roaming on to the pico-cell service on board, rather than activating and paying for a WiFi plan. But it is not free. Passengers will be charged the same $10/day on board as with any other destination accessible via the AT&T International Day Pass (“IDP”). A second line on the same billing plan that uses the IDP on the same day pays only $5.
Like other inflight connectivity operators, Panasonic Avionics reports increased levels of data consumption across its in-flight mobile network in 2022 compared to pre-pandemic levels.
As air travel continues to recover, mobile network operators around the globe such as AT&T are creating compelling retail propositions, driving in-flight roaming usage and adoption. Standing in the way of even greater adoption, however, is the friction and cost of accessing the network in flight. The Aeromobile solution does not completely remove the cost, but it does dramatically reduce the friction. Passengers can accept the roaming charges directly on the device and transition quickly to data services on board, just like on the ground.
The partnership is a strong step forward, but may be of limited value, at least initially. None of Aeromobile’s customers are US-based airlines. And for the others, not all planes are equipped with the service.
Indeed, John Wade, VP In-flight Connectivity at PAC, notes the company has “seen mobile network operators around the globe — especially the Middle East, Europe, and Asia — launch compelling in-flight retail offers, and we’re excited that operators in the U.S. are now embracing the overseas in-flight connectivity market.”
The current airlines flying with Aeromobile hardware on board include:
- Aer Lingus
- Air Belgium
- Asiana Airlines
- Biman Bangladesh Airlines
- Cathay Pacific
- Emirates Airlines
- Etihad Airways
- EVA Air
- ITA Airways
- Kuwait Airways
- Malaysia Airlines
- SAS Scandinavian Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- Swiss International Air Lines
- TAP Air Portugal
- Turkish Airlines
- Uzbekistan Airways
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