Emirates, one of the world best airlines, has started to allow chatting on mobile phones on their Airbus A380 planes. This is the first airline that enables people to have in-flight phone calls. Thanks to OnAir, passengers on Emirates’ A380 aircraft will now freely use their phones as if they were on ground. How do you get mobile coverage while being 30,000 feet above the ground? When you use your mobile you connect first with an on-board GSM network, which then connects you to the ground infrastructure via satellite link. OnAir ground infrastructure puts you through to a mobile or fixed operator – simple as that. What is really great is that OnAir charges nothing for providing on-board mobile signal, so you paying according to your standard international roaming call rates. Use of mobile phones is disabled during take-off and landing. Another feature is that the Emirates’ crew may decide to limit the services by disabling calls, so that during “night time” people may only text or use data transfer, so that other passengers may rest happily.
This cutting edge technology is sadly limited by local laws. For example, within 250 miles of the USA nobody can use their mobile phones during the flight. Nevertheless, getting mobile coverage while flying in the sky is a novelty and in the future other airplanes, such as Boeing 747-8, will also have in-flight mobile phone capability.