OnAir working with mobile operators to cut inflight mobile rates

Geneva, Switzerland | April 2, 2012–Oi, Brazil’s leading mobile phone company, is working with OnAir and TAM Airlines to halve the cost of using OnAir’s inflight GSM mobile phone network. The promotion, starting on April 1st, is designed to make inflight connectivity more popular on domestic flights.

During this promotion, Oi Postpay customers travelling with TAM will pay 50% less for using their own mobile phones, smartphones and tablets for calls, texting, emailing and synchronizing applications during flights.

OnAir’s inflight GSM mobile phone service is available on TAM routes within Brazil. TAM has a critical mass of 31 aircraft equipped with inflight connectivity, meaning the service now reaches a significant passenger population and more aircraft will be equipped during 2012.

“Now that OnAir connectivity has been deployed across so much of TAM’s fleet, the time could not be better for Oi, TAM and OnAir to promote the innovative connectivity service intensively,” said Ian Dawkins, Chief Executive Officer OnAir. “Our ultimate aim is to ensure inflight connectivity is affordable for everyone by bringing the cost closer to terrestrial prices.”

“TAM leads the deployment of inflight connectivity in South America, providing convenience to our customers. We want to bring this onboard technology to more and more people, so we are working to expand the reach of the service by making it better for passengers”, said Manoela Amaro, Marketing Director of TAM.

“With truly global presence, we have a critical mass of passengers using our products,” said Dawkins, “and we are working with mobile network operators to bring down inflight costs. It is a win for everyone, the airline, the mobile operator, the passenger and us.”

“This is another Oi action to give our customers complete freedom to talk and access the Internet wherever they are, and now for much less. With the advent of smartphones and tablets, our customers want connectivity everywhere and we are always looking for ways to help them achieve that,” said Eduardo Aspesi, director of Segments of Oi.

OnAir inflight GSM mobile phone and Internet services are currently available on 16 airlines across the world.

September 3, 2009 – Singapore – ARINC Incorporated, a world leader in advanced aviation communications, will demonstrate its next-generation OiTM Onboard Internet Service featuring interactive In Flight Entertainment (IFE) capabilities, at Aircraft Interiors Expo-Asia, in Hong Kong, Sept. 8-10.

With the interactive capability of Oi, passengers may use their own laptops or the airline’s IFE system to surf the Internet, listen to and watch podcasts, and to keep up with the pulse of the latest sports and global news.

“Oi Onboard Internet allows airlines to take their In-Flight Entertainment offerings to the next level, with interactive web applications and the content today’s passengers want,” said Dan Pendergast, Senior Director, Airline Programs of ARINC’s Asia Pacific Division. “Oi empowers passengers with the ability to send important e-mails and keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues at any time during their flight.”

Oi Onboard Internet Service is fully customizable by each airline, allowing carriers to build differentiated In-Flight Entertainment services for a better customer experience. The flexible Oi offerings can include combinations of free and paid content. In addition, airlines can explore a range of passenger payment options including credit cards. The flexibility of Oi gives airlines the full benefit of a high quality, optimal IFE experience for their passengers.

“We developed Oi to provide the next generation of onboard interactivity and IFE content for airlines and their passengers, through partnerships with leading content providers and hardware manufacturers, and making use of our own expertise in airline communications,” continued Pendergast. “Ultimately, this advance is about empowering passengers to connect and communicate with people in real time, any time.”

ARINC will demonstrate Oi’s capabilities along with other innovative IFE services that provide passengers with instantaneous communications and live news updates in a user-friendly format. Demonstrations will be at ARINC’s Booth 9B42, in Hall 9 at Expo-Asia, Sept. 8-10. Aircraft Interiors Expo-Asia, Hong Kong is the regional showcase for IFE, connectivity, and passenger services, and the leading venue in the Asia Pacific region for the aircraft interiors industry.

ARINC Incorporated, a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group, provides communications, engineering and integration solutions for commercial, defense and government customers worldwide. Headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland with regional headquarters in London and Singapore, ARINC is ISO 9001:2008 certified.

ARINC is making good progress with the development of its Onboard Internet ‘Oi’ following prove of concept trials. A year since the new service was first showcased in Europe to airline attendees at the Aircraft Interiors Show in Hamburg, the company is preparing to have its technology fitted to a commercial airliner by the fourth quarter of this year (November), closely followed by flight trials.

“Response from the world’s airlines has been extremely positive, even in these economic challenging times, when carriers are tightening their belts,” acknowledges Andy Hubbard, Director of Aviation Solutions for ARINC EMEA. ARINC, which is marking 80 years of providing diverse engineering and communications innovations in the industry is participating at this event, during March 31-April 2 at Hall 6, C10.

Oi internet technology for personal laptops is innovative in that it isn’t dependent on an air to ground connection – rather it is loaded aboard the aircraft prior to departure. The Service is designed to operate from Inmarsat’s new high bandwidth Swift Broadband satcom service – a standard two-channel installation that mimics the ADSL connections in common use today. Passengers will be able to enjoy a wide variety of live web content via their laptops – accessible from Mac and PC programmes. They can surf the internet or chat on social networking sites from the comfort of their seat with flexible payment options – by the hour, by day or per flight sector. Oi can facilitate real time news and sports flashes, listen to news and sport bulletins; and even watch and download the latest podcasts to their laptops.

Passengers simply switch on their PC and, using either a wireless or wired platform, are instantly connected to ARINC’s Laptop Intranet Portal. The Portal will be fully customised to each airline’s requirement – whether a carrier wants BBC or Sky News as standard, for example. It will support a combination of free view or paid for applications. Oi will feature a range of price points to suit most budgets and ARINC envisages webmail prices will be under US$10 a flight, with attachments beyond a certain size requiring an extra charge. A number of payment methods will be offered – including credit card payments or pre-paid cards that ask for special access codes. Passengers can also pay via their usual mobile on internet service provider accounts.

ARINC first demonstrated its Laptop Connectivity at the September 2007 World Airline Entertainment Association congress, receiving much acclaim for the product offering. As the solution is software-based it can be easily installed on most of the higher specification IFE servers already on many of the world’s leading airlines, several of whom are now talking with ARINC about Oi.

In February, Inmarsat achieved global coverage for the SwiftBroadband service, following the launch of the last of three satellites last August.