Can an updated wifi portal deliver significant changes in the in-flight passenger connectivity experience? Inmarsat hopes so, as the company launches OneFi, a “customer experience platform” to help improve monetization of the services as well as deliver more options to passengers.
Airlines have struggled to realize the full potential of the business model. OneFi is a step change for those looking to monetize their Wi-Fi services and ensure they keep pace with evolving passenger needs.– Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation
While Inmarsat is not yet ready to announce any customers for the OneFi platform, VP of Inflight Media Nathan Clapton says the company is testing it and “in advanced discussions” with airlines, with hopes for a customer announcement within the next three to six months.
OneFi offers a customizable platform for airlines to extend their digital experience into the aircraft cabin. Custom logos, fonts, and colors help deliver the consistent look and feel. That is important, but not the real value of the solution.
For passengers OneFi delivers food and beverage ordering, purchase of seat upgrades, flight status, and destination information.
The platform also could integrate with a loyalty program, either for enrolment or for extending different WiFi rates to members based on elite status.
We wanted to make it an easy and fun for passengers to find relevant services. We think passengers want the same sort of portal experience, the same sort of web experience that they get on the ground.– Nathan Clapton, VP of Inflight Media at Inmarsat Aviation
Beyond the on-board products, Inmarsat suggests a broadband connection could be offered free-of-charge to travelers, funded through OneFi’s sponsorship and advertising features. To support this the company implemented a full ad-serving and management platform within the OneFi system.
It also includes a full analytics suite and data capture services to support airline and partner reporting needs.
While many portals offer similar features, Inmarsat sees strong value in OneFi’s advertising platform. The company believes it can do a better job delivering contextual and relevant content to the individual passenger.
It also believes the revised interface will boost take rates and more smoothly fill the funnel towards WiFi purchases on board.
To date, none of the ad targeting solutions touted by other vendors have demonstrated significant success on board. And there are plenty of questions yet to be answered regarding demand for a better shopping experience rather than entertainment, especially as the shopping experience on the ground improved far faster than in flight.
But this does present an opportunity for another attempt at reducing friction between passengers and airlines realizing revenue on board, regardless of who is paying.
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