is to roll out new technology on its domestic aircraft from late 2008 to allow customers to send and receive
email and SMS via mobile phone or personal electronic device.
has been evaluating the technology on a Boeing 767-300 aircraft between April 2007 and January 2008.
“The evaluation of this new technology was a great success,”
Qantas Executive General Manager, Mr John Borghetti said. “An overwhelming majority of passengers involved in the
evaluation indicated they wanted access to inflight connectivity on an ongoing basis.
“We are committed to supporting their needs and will continue to be the market leader in introducing
innovative business relevant products and services. This next generation technology will allow them
to use their inflight time more effectively,” Mr Borghetti added.
Qantas has partnered with AeroMobile, which has developed the technology which allows mobile
phones and portable devices to be used safely inflight without interference to aircraft systems or the
ground communication network.
“Customers wanting to send or receive an SMS will require only a GSM phone and a global roaming
account, while customers wanting to send or receive emails will need a GPRS enabled device like a
Blackberry or an appropriately equipped laptop,” Mr Borghetti said.
Qantas and its partners
are working with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority
(CASA), Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and other agencies to ensure the
system operated in accordance with Australian regulatory and legal requirements.
Voice connectivity is a feature of the technology but will not be activated as part of the new service.
Mr Borghetti said the technology would initially be installed on a number of domestic
Boeing 767-300 and Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
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