Panasonic, AeroMobile in Mobile Phone Partnership

By Tish Drake | April 1, 2008
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In-flight telephone provider AeroMobile and Panasonic Avionics signed an agreement with airline V Australia to provide the technology for mobile phone and BlackBerry/PDA use on board its Boeing 777 aircraft. Financial terms were not disclosed. Panasonic eXPhone system incorporating AeroMobile’s technology is planned to be installed on all the Boeing 777-300ERs that V Australia has on order, and would be available on all aircraft for entry into service later this year. Regulatory approvals for the service are pending, the companies said, but V Australia and AeroMobile, a joint venture between ARINC and Telenor, said they are working with the authorities in Australia and the United States to gain the necessary approvals. “We are pleased V Australia will be the only airline operating the trans-Pacific route to offer this service. It is part of our strategy to provide guests with the freedom to do what they want when they want, whether it be SMS and emails, on-demand movies or eating when they are hungry,” said Virgin Blue Group of Airlines Chief Executive Brett Godfrey. The AeroMobile system consists of six avionics units, including a Linux server, base transceiver station (BTS), cell-phone radio frequency management unit, leaky feeder coaxial cable and radio frequency outputs. The server software converts cellular standards to operate over the Inmarsat satellite system. The BTS unit handles the actual cellular calls, text messages and data. The AeroMobile system will be linked to the ground using Inmarsat’s satellite communications system, SwiftBroadband, when that system is introduced in the Australian and Pacific regions in 2009. For related news

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