Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Chinese Airline Offers InFlight Mobile Service
China's Shenzhen Airlines has fitted its planes with communications technology that will allow passengers to use their mobile phones to make voice calls and send e-mail and SMS messages during flights.
The satellite based technology, developed by Airbus and Sita joint venture OnAir, will allow passengers to make in-flight mobile calls and send text messages on short-haul flights.
In a sign of changing times, the "No mobile" signs are to replace the outdated "no smoking" signs above airline seats with the introduction of in-flight mobile phone services.
OnAir said its equipment will be retrospectively fitted on Shenzhen's existing aircraft and line-fitted on new aircraft. The service is aimed at passengers with smart phones or basic handsets.
The deal with Shenzhen is the third such agreement OnAir has secured that covers an airline's whole fleet, following a pact signed last summer with low-cost carrier Ryanair and an agreement in June this year with AirAsia. The Ryanair in-flight communications service is due to go live by the end of this year, according to an OnAir spokesman, and the AirAsia service is slated to launch in early 2009.
Another method (faster and cheaper= disruptive) for aviation broadband, that is also a contender in this space is Adapt4.
Adapt4, is a supplier of efficient cognitive radio solutions that exploit unused frequency bandwidth in an FCC-certified manner. They are partnering with a bandwidth-efficient modem chip to offer a cost-effective and fast aviation broadband solution.