Can you recall all the times when you have been asked to switch off your mobile phone before taking off because it might disturb aviation equipment? This may never happen again in 2006 as Siemens and Airbus join hands to research and develop technology which allows passengers to receive mobile phone calls while in flight.
The system is not going to connect to existing cellular networks, but to a satellite network that will in turn broadcast signals to your mobile device. This obviously acts as an additional revenue model for the airlines and adds substantial interest to get the service going soon.
A joint venture between SITA and Airbus has the potential of earning approximately $1.6 billion by the year 2009 for in flight mobile phone use. Accompanying data services might be worth another $400 million which brings the total market to $2 billion, this is a heap of money for Airbus and Siemens to not act on.
Business users have been requesting for this service via the various feedback and inputs received from industry experts.