SITA, the global air transport industry IT provider, has signed an international mobile data deal with Orange Business Services to support mobile processes at airports and airlines.

The deal supports the secure use of mobile data, machine-to-machine (M2M) applications, and application to person (A2P) technologies worldwide.

SITA is effectively owned by the air transport industry, with 150 members and 3,200 customer organisations using its services at more than 13,000 sites globally.

Orange Business Services is supplying SITA's customers with 2G/3G data connectivity through 400 roaming agreements in more than 180 countries. SITA says the service will make sure that airport and airline staff get data access through the best and cheapest connection.

SITA already provides mobile workforce systems to support applications such as electronic flight bags (EFBs), which include flight plans for pilots; wireless bag management; and mobile passenger applications.

The agreement it has now signed with Orange means its offering includes middleware, managed devices, Wi-Fi connectivity at airports and global 3G data connectivity.

Francesco Violante, CEO at SITA said, “The air transport industry requires a high-performing, cost-effective service that provides consistent connectivity globally. SITA has partnered with Orange Business Services because it provides global coverage at competitive rates."

Orange already has a seven-year deal with SITA for other telecoms services, which includes connecting airline data centres via its global MPLS (multi-protocol label switching) network.

SITA will be holding its annual Air Transport IT Summit in Brussels next week.

"Tackling the game-changing trends - the CIO agenda" will be the theme of the summit this year, with keynotes from KLM and Star Alliance, among others.