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In-flight calling: the travel hell is now hotter

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 21-Dec-2007 08:37

Someone have mercy on air travellers! Many companies (including QANTAS) have announced their trials with in-flight cellular services.

The latest one is Air France and OnAir. According to Wi-Fi Networking News:


The service is limited to text messaging and mobile email for the first half of the six-month trial. In three months, voice service will be enabled, but according to interviews I’ve conducted over the last couple of years, the voice part could be summarily disabled during flights or for the remainder of the trial depending on reception.

Calls may be made only above 10,000 feet (3,000m). OnAir said they have arrangements with several cell carriers—the company’s service is like its own cell carrier in the air—including Orange,  Bouyges Telecom, and SFR. The cost is “comparable” to international calling, and is estimated to be about US$2.50 per  minute in  previous reports and interviews.



I hope this doesn't work well. Really, who needs a twelve hour flight over the Pacific Ocean with 400 people on-board and some folks send and receiving SMS (beep, beep), phones playing noisy horrible ringtones and worse of all - people talking loudly about their big deal, the new house, or whatever is important for them - forgetting there are some people trying to sleep on that big flying tube...

If this comes true I hope airlines indicate in the booking something like "Mobile free flight" so people can choose which flight to take.


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Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

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