Feeds

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

Plane speaking

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

New hybrid storage solutions

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
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
Shades of Mannesmann: Vodafone should buy T-Mobile US
Biting the bullet would let Blighty-based biz flip the bird at AT&T
Net neutrality fans' joy as '2.3 million email' flood hits US Congress
FCC invites opinions in CSV format, after Slowdown day 'success'
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.