SITA becomes first global mobile data services provider for air transport industry

SITA and Orange Business sign agreement for global 2G/3G connectivity

SITA today announced that it has become the world’s first global mobile data services provider dedicated to the air transport industry. Through a partnership agreement with Orange Business, the air transport communications specialist is providing global data connectivity to airlines enabling the secure use of mobile data, machine-to-machine (M2M) and application to person (A2P) technologies worldwide.

Orange Business and its International M2M Centre (IMC) is supplying SITA with 2G/3G data connectivity with extensive availability and international coverage that includes in excess of 400 roaming agreements in more than 180 countries. This connectivity has the added advantage of 100% national roaming so that SITA’s airline customers always benefit from the best, and most cost-effective, network.

SITA already provides a mobile workforce solution to airlines that are today embracing mobile data applications such as electronic flight bags (EFBs), wireless bag management and mobile passenger applications. By becoming the first global mobile data services provider for the industry, SITA now delivers a one-stop-shop solution that includes middleware, managed devices, Wi-Fi connectivity at airports and global 3G data connectivity.

Francesco Violante, CEO, SITA said: “As the adoption of mobile devices and data transfer soars worldwide, the air transport industry requires a high-performing, cost-effective service that provides consistent connectivity globally. SITA has partnered with Orange Business because it provides global coverage at competitive rates. Together we are combining this high standard of data connectivity with SITA’s knowledge of the air transport industry to make the use of mobile applications most effective.”

Vivek Badrinath, Senior Executive Vice President for Enterprise Services at France Telecom Orange and CEO of Orange Business, said: “We are proud to add mobile data connectivity to our ten-year partnership with SITA on a large portfolio of telecommunications services. And we are happy to provide Orange’s extensive experience of over ten years in M2M as well as the expertise developed by our International M2M Centre and the key role our group plays in M2M standardization. Combined with SITA’s industry expertise, it will provide the air transport industry with a service that is specifically designed for this unique sector.

“Thanks to more than 400 roaming agreements and central monitoring capabilities, the headache of negotiating and managing multiple agreements in different regions will be eliminated for airlines. In addition, our capacity to provide several network partners in a single country, and to connect airline data centres via Orange’s global MPLS network, will ensure that airlines will always get both the best quality and the most economical service in any country with secured connections everywhere in the world.”

The size of the mobile data market is significant and growing 25% annually; according to Berg Insight more than 187 million cellular connections are expected in 2014 . To effectively handle this scale of traffic requires not only connectivity but also a close understanding of application and context specifics. SITA’s service, designed for the unique needs of the global air transport industry, includes end-to-end infrastructure, a managed SIMs supply chain and self-care administration portal for optimized use.

Violante added: “SITA believes that the industry is crying out for a global secure network for mobile devices. In particular, performance and security are concerns for critical applications such as EFBs which are used to download flight plans and other data for pilots. Our new service, SITA Mobile Data Access, provides by default an access point name (APN) to each customer and can offer virtual private network (VPN) tunnels to ensure the security for such M2M data communications.”

SITA now offers the industry all major connectivity technology: wireline, Wi-Fi and cellular (2G/3G) and is providing wireless connectivity in more than 180 countries.

About SITA
SITA is the world's leading specialist in air transport communications and IT solutions. SITA delivers and manages business solutions for airline, airport, GDS, government and other customers over the world’s most extensive network, which forms the communications backbone of the global air transport industry.

SITA’s portfolio includes managed global communications, infrastructure and outsourcing services, as well as services for airline commercial management and passenger operations, flight operations, aircraft operations and air-to-ground communications, airport management and operations, baggage operations, transportation security and border management, cargo operations and more.

With a customer service team of over 2,000 staff around the world, SITA invests significantly in achieving best-in-class customer service, providing integrated local and global support for both its communications and IT application services.

SITA has two main subsidiaries: OnAir, which is the leading provider of in-flight connectivity, and CHAMP Cargosystems, the world's only IT company dedicated solely to air cargo. SITA also operates two joint ventures providing services to the air transport community: Aviareto for aircraft asset management and CertiPath for secure electronic identity management.

SITA is one of the world's most international companies. Its global reach is based on local presence, with services for over 550 air transport industry members and 3,200 customers in over 200 countries and territories. Set up in 1949 with 11 member airlines, SITA today employs people of more than 140 nationalities, speaking over 70 different languages. SITA had consolidated revenues of over US$1.49 billion (€1.07 billion) in 2009.

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About Orange Business
Orange Business, the France Telecom-Orange branch dedicated to B2B services, is a leading global integrator of communications solutions for multinational corporations. With the world's largest, seamless network for voice and data, Orange Business reaches 220 countries and territories with local support in 166. Offering a comprehensive package of communication services covering cloud computing, enterprise mobility, M2M, security, unified communications, videoconferencing, and broadband, Orange Business delivers a best-in-class customer experience across a global landscape. Thousands of enterprise customers and 1.4 million mobile data users rely on an Orange Business international platform for communicating and conducting business. Orange Business is a four-time winner of Best Global Operator at the World Communication Awards. Learn more at

France Telecom-Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with 170,000 employees worldwide and sales of 11.2 billion euros in the first quarter 2011. Orange is the Group's single brand for Internet, television and mobile services in the majority of countries where the company operates. France Telecom (NYSE:FTE) is listed on Euronext Paris (compartment A) and on the New York Stock Exchange.

Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trade marks of Orange Brand Services Limited, Orange France or France Telecom.