Emirates okays inflight use of mobile phones
Air travel is about to get noisier as airline Emirates said this month that it is to allow passengers travelling on its flights to use their mobile phones onboard from next year.
The Dubai-based firm claims it will be the first airline to provide inflight mobile phone use for passengers in all its planes.
It has invested US$27 million to fit its fleet with technology from supplier AeroMobile and will start by offering the service on one of its Boeing 777s from January 2007. The service will be gradually rolled out to the rest of its fleet over the next two to three years.
Passengers will be able to make and receive phone calls using their mobile phones as well as receive and send SMSs.
AeroMobile, a provider of inflight mobile services, is supplying the airline with a picocell which works by reducing interference both to the aircraft systems and to the ground telecoms networks, particularly cellular networks, in the countries that the plane flies over.