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Seamless Air Alliance Looks to Integrate 3GPP 5G NTN Standards for Aviation 

By Rachel Jewett | February 23, 2024

Photo: Via Satellite/ Media

In-flight connectivity (IFC) standards organization the Seamless Air Alliance is looking to integrate 3GPP 5G NTN standards into the aviation industry, the group announced on Feb. 22. 

IFC systems are typically proprietary due to varying modem, antenna, and frequencies. The Alliance sees potential in 5G NTN standards to overcome the difficulty in integrating mobile satellite services with terrestrial networks.

The Alliance has formed a specialized working group to ensure 5G NTN considers the challenges and requirements of the aviation industry. The group has released a white paper and interested aviation, telecom, satellite, and connectivity providers to join the Alliance and contribute to the standards development. 

“5G NTN provides an opportunity to harmonize IFC standards and overcome the limitations of proprietary satellite technologies, which prevents airlines from pursuing technology upgrades and inhibits the interchangeability of equipment,” says Olivier Hauw of Airbus, who co-chairs the SAA NTN working group.