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Airplanes With Mobile Phones Support : Soon in Air

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Broken In

UK airline BMI will begin trials of satellite-based technology next year that will allow passengers to make in-flight mobile calls and send text messages on board its aircraft.

The technology has been developed by OnAir, the joint venture between Airbus and airline industry IT body Sita, and will also be used in trials early in 2007 with Air France and Portugal's TAP.

OnAir has just signed a deal with Monaco Telecom to provide the ground network infrastructure that will handle all GSM and GPRS calls made from OnAir's in-flight mobile services.

The on-board equipment incorporates technology from Tenzing, the company that pioneered in-flight email, while Inmarsat will be providing the satellite communications.

A pico cell located on board the Airbus aircraft using the technology will pick up mobile phone signals via a "leaky cable" antenna running along the length of the plane. The signal is then converted, sent to a satellite and then routed to the ground network


Wise Old Owl
It will be good news for the air travellers. But how safe is it? Only time will tell.
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