Feeds

EU waves through Airbus mobile phone system

We're OnAir

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

There seems to be some confusion over the EU approval of the SITA-Airbus joint venture to put mobile phones onto aircraft. The approval has been granted- but it's a political approval, not a technical one - not yet.

It remains to be seen if the magic works, and gets approval from Authority, but that looks likely. Meanwhile, commercial approval is given.

The official announcement says, formally enough: "The European Commission has granted approval under the EU Merger Regulation to Airbus Group (France) and SITA (Netherlands) to form a joint venture, named OnAir."

The OnAir project "will develop and provide the nascent onboard communication services for commercial aircraft (such as in-flight telephony, SMS, email, Internet and GSM onboard)," continues the announcement. The Commission concluded that "the joint venture will not significantly impede effective competition in those markets."

That's hardly surprising. What was surprising - at least, to some in the industry was the revelation back in September, that the OnAir gear will be very little more than a simple GSM or CDMA or WCDMA picocell on board the aircraft. According to Airbus, after completing proving flights, most of the work remaining to be done was going to "productising and certification."

Back in September, Airbus special projects director Philippe Chenevier said the company had proved that ordinary mobile phones can be safely used on board aircraft, providing simple steps are taking to restrict their transmit power.

This has the added benefit of preventing their signal reaching the ground. The only definite, uncontroversial problem with mobile phones in the air is that they try to register with dozens, maybe hundreds, perhaps even (in a dense urban area) thousands of ground cells and microcells.

According to Reuters this week, the creation of OnAir was announced in July, which is slightly odd, because neither Airbus nor SITA would reveal the name of the project at the World Airline Entertainment Association annual conference and exhibition in September.

An important part of the Airbus story is that its technology is not restricted to Airbus operators; the technology will be suitable for use in Boeing aircraft as well.

Airlines are busy rolling out plans to offer onboard Internet services and Airbus rival Boeing Co, for example, has developed Connexion, an onboard broadband Internet service.

Germany's Lufthansa has already launched an internet service under the name Lufthansa FlyNet aboard some planes. It is due to be available on all long haul flights by the end of this year.

© NewsWireless.Net

Related stories

Readers love mobiles in church; hate mobiles on planes
HELLO...I'M ON A PLANE...YES...A PLANE!!
Airbus rolls out A380
Official orders probe of airlines that stole Christmas
US FCC to rethink in-flight mobile phone rules
Vodafone to offer in-flight Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi extensions should breathe new life into 802.11a
Singapore Airlines plans in-flight live TV via Wi-Fi

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.