Bharti Airtel will now offer in-flight mobile services

Bharti Airtel has partnered with global in-flight connectivity operator Aero Mobile to offer mobile services on board 19 airlines including Etihad Airlines, Emirates, Cathay Pacific etc.

Airtel is offering voice, SMS and data connectivity at competitive prices to Reliance Jio which brought the same service back in 2020 through Aero Mobile.

While the data entitlements of three combo packs range from 250 MB to 1GB only, users can make repeat purchase in-flight itself.

Airtel has also gone one step further. Customers subscribed to roaming packs priced at Rs. 2997 for prepaid and Rs. 3999 for postpaid and above can automatically access in-flight roaming at no additional cost.

Telecom experts said affordable pricing is a key advantage which shall drive subscriptions over long-haul international routes. “However, it would be a revolutionary mass adoption if Aero Mobile, the aviation connectivity license holder, partners with Indian airlines such as Indigo, Vistara etc for domestic routes,” one person said.

In-flight connectivity is established through satellite exchange with the ground station. When a mobile device is taken out of ‘Airplane Mode’ its signal is relayed from the aircraft antenna, via satellite to the ground network which uses the SIM card’s unique number to establish connection.Both Airtel and Jio currently have three pack offerings at the same price points which are Rs 195, Rs 295 and Rs 595.The partnership ensures end-to-end connectivity on select routes, for instance, if a user is travelling from Delhi to New York with a layover in London, he will be covered from Delhi till the final destination, that is New York.

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