Feeds

OnAir plans 'quiet times' of no voice calls in aircraft

Plane speaking

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Following surveys - showing that airline passengers are nervous about the nuisance value of inflight phone calls by their neighbours - OnAir has revealed that its in-plane technology will be able to limit passengers to text-only for "quiet times" during flight.

The company is also on course, it says, for a full launch in European flying aircraft in the middle of 2006.

The revelation came in the announcement of a deal with Siemens to provide the essential "picocell" GSM transceivers for inflight telephony which OnAir is now offering not just to its own (Airbus is a partner in OnAir) aircraft builder, but also to Boeing.

In last week's PR announcement George Cooper, OnAir CEO, said: “This is a significant milestone. Siemens brings huge expertise to this ground-breaking business enterprise. We are very pleased that such a strong player in the telecom industry is taking on a critical role in making the OnAir vision happen.”

OnAir in-seat SMS and mail services are already available on Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Eva Airways, Iberia, KLM, Lauda Italy, Malaysian Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines, Qantas and Virgin Atlantic.

The new voice features will be "voluntary" in the sense that the existing equipment will be upgraded to carry GSM phone calls - but only when aircrew permit. "The aircraft crew will have access to a dedicated control panel for switching the system into the selected service mode (e.g. text-only) and monitoring the system status. This will ensure that 'quiet' times are respected in the cabin," said the announcement.

OnAir is jointly owned by SITA INC (information Networking Computing) and Airbus.

The full OnAir service portfolio will allow airline passengers to use their personal devices, such as mobile phones, PDAs and laptops, to communicate in a variety of ways during flights: to make and receive phone calls, send and receive text messages, read and send e-mails, access corporate networks, browse the internet or chat over the internet.

However, if this service is going to include WiFi access (as Connexion by Boeing already offers) then OnAir isn't saying much about that.

© NewsWireless.Net

Related stories

Airbus to enable in-flight mobile phoning in 2006
EC backs inflight mobile calls
Airline passengers love inflight SMS, hate voice calls
Mobile plane ban protects us from terrorists - FBI
UK boffin demos plane-based broadband

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins
Who will save the systems from the men and women who save the systems from you?
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
Ofcom snatches 700MHz off digital telly, hands it to mobile data providers
Hungry mobe'n'slab-waving Blighty swallows spectrum
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
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.