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Boeing's Connexion business unit expects to sell mobile phone services to travelers as early as next year, despite resistance from passengers.

Connexion president Laurette Koellner is reported to have said his company will offer services once regulatory and "social" issues have been ironed out. Connexion already provides in-flight internet access with various commercial airlines.

The US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) is currently reviewing the ban on use of phones and other wireless devices, while the European Union has given the political nod for services on aircraft.

However, 67 per cent of air travelers are against removing the ban in the US, while 78 per cent are concerned phone use could prevent passengers from hearing emergency instructions, according to a poll conducted by the Association of Flight Attendants and the National Consumers' League.

Koellner's statement follows Ericsson's launch of the RBS 2708 base station for inflight mobile phone services.®

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