Subscribers on Brazil’s largest mobile phone company network now can access inflight internet for free. TIM Black and TIM Black Família customers can now browse, message, and more on domestic and international flights operated by GOL and LATAM, thanks to a partnership with Intelsat.
We already offer the best navigation experience on the ground and now we will take that possibility to the air as well. With TIM, the customer will be connected even in the air. Once again we took the lead.– Alberto Griselli, CEO of TIM
TIM subscribers on the GOL or LATAM flights can access the service by connecting to the capture portal, clicking the TIM banner, then logging in with their TIM phone number and password. The service will support messaging and browsing, but not streaming video levels of service. For subscribers on the TIM Black Familia (family) plan, the benefit is only available to the primary line holder.
Read more: Telekom FlyNet app eases in-flight connectivity for Lufthansa passengers
TIM already offers bundling of a number of media packages in its post-paid packages. Some packages also zero-rate data consumption for specific apps so they don’t count against data caps. Extending this concept to partnerships in the sky is an evolution of the offerings to grow the value for travelers, and also to attract more subscribers on the ground.
Similar offerings exist between T-Mobile and various US airlines (United Airlines just rejoined), as well as with Deutsche Telekom and the Lufthansa Group airlines.
GOL is a long-time 2Ku customer. The carrier signed its initial fleet-wide fitting deal in 2016 as the third customer for the service.
LATAM announced earlier this year that the company’s entire single-aisle fleet – more than 150 A320 family aircraft – would be fitted with the Intelsat’s 2Ku solution. The carrier’s Brazilian operations was an early adopter of 2Ku, signing on back in 2018 to start the equipage.
The 2Ku program’s early and continued success in Brazil (and neighboring countries) is attributed in large part to the higher efficiency of the ThinKom ThinAir Ku3030 antenna solution in equatorial regions. The focused beam from its phased array antenna allows for more efficient communication with satellites in geostationary orbit and with higher signal strength, as it reduces potential interference with adjacent satellites (so-called skew angle effect).
But 2Ku is not the only offering in the region. Azul offers complimentary inflight internet as well. That deal covers the company’s A320neo and Embraer E195-E2 fleets. Getting the free connection does not depend on an outside subscription; it is available to all passengers. That service is powered by Viasat and capacity from the Telebras’s SGDC Ka-band satellite.
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