stc Group, the digital leader in the region, signed a partnership agreement with SKYFive Arabia, the leading provider of Air-to-Ground (A2G) based solutions and services, to introduce the new concept of In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) to airlines in Saudi Arabia. With the roadmap to expand across the entire MENA region in the near future, the partnership will deliver unparalleled connectivity that will enrich the airline’s and passengers’ travel experiences.
Eng. Mohammed Alabbadi, group chief carrier & wholesale officer at stc Group, commented: “This agreement with SKYFive Arabia aims to explore the new possibilities that A2G technology has to offer, as part of the group’s efforts to enable innovative NTN (Non-Terrestrial Network) technologies in alignment with the stc Group’s daring strategy and the Kingdom’s ambitious vision.
“Our partnership with SKYFive Arabia will reinforce the Kingdom’s position in the region as the first country to introduce A2G-based in-flight connectivity, which provides faster and more reliable internet connection for local and international flights. As the Kingdom’s digital transformation accelerates, stc is paving the way for our customers and business partners to connect in more ways than ever,” he added.
Eng. Mohamed AbdelRehim, chief executive officer, Middle East Africa, at SKYFive Arabia, said: "This partnership aims to offer high-speed connectivity in aircrafts, allowing airline passengers to enjoy (up to 4K) video streaming, web browsing, social media usage, as well as IoT applications, which will improve travel experience of passengers, thereby contributing to the digital transformation of the aviation sector."
stc Group and SKYFive Arabia have already tested this state-of-the-art technology on a flight between Riyadh and Jeddah in collaboration with the Communications, Space and Technology Commission (CST) and Saudia Airlines.
It is worth noting that this year’s agreement follows the CST’s earlier announcement made last December, when stc won a 15-year license for both spectrum blocks: A2G-Based Network and Mobile Satellite Services (MSS).
This agreement confirms the group’s dedication to contributing towards the realization of the Kingdom’s digital transformation by providing unrivalled connectivity in the air and on the ground. This service will enhance airline passengers’ experience.