Sunday, June 24, 2007

Approved : Phone calls from planes

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The airplane is about to be connected, for plans are afoot to allow travellers to make mobile phone calls at high altitude.

According to Graham Lake, the Chief Commercial Officer of OnAir, "Cabin connectivity is here." Lake told participants at the Paris Air Show this week that his company, a joint venture between European plane maker Airbus and airline IT group Sita, has been given the green signal by the European Aviation Safety Agency to begin fitting equipment to commercial jets.

The technology is to be operated by an Air France plane for the first time in September 2007 and will then roll out across the world, with low-cost operators Ireland-based Ryanair and Malaysia’s AirAsia some of the biggest clients. The expansion timetable means European consumers will be the first to be able to use the technology with Air France, Ryanair, British low-cost BMI and Portugal’s TAP.

To prevent the phones from interfering with the ground network, the system will only be available above 9000 feet, which is achieved four minutes after take-off and maintained until 10 minutes before landing.

Source : timesofindia | Picture : jupiterimages

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