OnAir looks to forge new partnerships with network operators

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In-flight mobile connectivity provider OnAir is looking to establish new forms of cooperation with mobile network operators from around the world.

The Airbus/SITA joint venture tells ATI it is in discussions with about 15 different mobile network operators from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America and is having "advanced discussions with at least one mobile network operator in each of these regions".

OnAir does not disclose the name of mobile network operators with which it currently holds relationships. But it notes it can "offer a solution by airline and/or by region".

As part of its new focus on forging new strategic partnerships, OnAir has appointed Richard Briffod director of business development for mobile network operators.

Reporting directly to OnAir CEO Benoit Debains, Briffod also heads up 'Mobile OnAir' advanced in-flight applications.

Before joining OnAir, Briffod spent more than ten years as a strategy consultant and marketing executive in the technology, telecommunication and media industry, working for Monitor Company and Oliver Wyman.

"Briffod brings both knowledge and deep experience of the telecommunication industry - especially of mobile network operators. He will be a real asset at this exciting time. This new OnAir initiative towards mobile network operators will strengthen our delivery of advanced connectivity solutions to travellers worldwide," says Debains.

With over 20 customers on four continents, OnAir's operations are expanding quickly across a range of markets and market segments. The company offers in-flight GSM and GPRS for voice, data and Internet via Inmarsat's higher-bandwidth SwiftBroadband aeronautical service.

The USA continues to ban the in-flight use of mobile phones.