Air travel is getting an upgrade thanks to AT&T Business. The pioneering communications company is working with Delta Air Lines and Apple to provide pilots with 5G capable iPad Pros. Each pilot’s electronic flight bag (EFB) will contain a device. The EFBs are equipped with custom apps that allow pilots to receive and use information pre-flight including flight data and the plane’s load. The new iPad Pros are using Apple’s M1 chip and provide an upgrade from previous devices in the EFBs. Delta pilots can expect to begin using these devices in Q4 of 2021.
The decision to equip pilots with the iPad Pros comes after Delta already agreed to provide iPhone 12 5G devices for its 19,000+ flight attendants. 5G connectivity is a feature for both the iPhone 12 and the iPad Pro. Each device can connect to the high-band (mmWave) 5G spectrum bands which provide the fastest speeds, highest data capacity, and lowest levels of latency.
5G can help pilots in areas where they are without WiFi. Because EFBs begin their work long before take-off, there are areas leading up to a departure, such as when pilots are still at their respective gates, where connectivity will be beneficial. AT&T Business’ IoT Global SIM and Control Center will also be used by Delta Air Lines for device management and troubleshooting in over 200 countries.
Delta Air Lines is in the process of hiring over 1,000 pilots. This hiring spree is so that the company may respond to the resurgence of travel the airline industry is experiencing. After a devastating blow during 2020 in the height of lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Delta is gearing up as travel returns.
The airline industry was affected as many others by lockdowns, but while the wireless industry found a way, it still suffered in terms of travel-related revenue. An example is the lack of revenue from international roaming. Now, AT&T is also rolling with the positive trends in the travel world. Even expanding its 5G+ network into multiple airports through its collaboration with Boingo. AT&T’s 5G+ uses mmWave spectrum bands and will help bolster everything from the safety of passengers through contactless entry to improved speeds for offices throughout the facilities. Before 2023, as many as 25 major airline hubs will feature AT&T’s 5G+ network.
Source: Fierce Wireless