Wireless device manufacturer Ericsson has introduced a GSM base station that allows travelers to use their mobile phones while in flight. The RBS 2708 is an upgraded version of Ericsson’s terrestrial RBS 2000, it would appear to the mobile phone as just another cell in the network, the call would then be routed to a satellite to connect the user’s call.
“Consumers demand coverage anytime and anywhere. This is why Ericsson now is making mobile telephony available on board aircrafts and ships.” reported Ulf Ewaldsson, VP of Product Management GSM at Ericsson.
The system is fully integrated with an Electromagnetic Screening Device (EMSD) and housed in an Avionics standard enclosure of ARINC 600 type, the equipment is easy to install and safe in operation: not interfering with neither avionics nor terrestrial radio networks. The system offers up to 60 simultaneous calls and also offers dual band support as an option.
Ericsson expects the cost of each base station to be around US $131,000 per plane to fully deploy, they are due out later this year.