Panasonic Avionics Corp., of Lake Forest, Calif., and AeroMobile have extended their agreement with Emirates Airline for in-flight mobile connectivity with an order for an additional 84 eXPhone systems for installation on the carrier's Boeing 777-300ERs and 777-200LRs.
eXPhone is offered by Panasonic, in collaboration with AeroMobile's inflight mobile phone service. It will allow Emirates passengers to use their mobile phones, smart phones and BlackBerry devices to make and receive voice calls and SMS text messages in flight, along with data services such as e-mail. Since 2008, more then 4 million Emirates passengers have connected to the service offered by AeroMobile, and it is already in service on 85 of the airline's fleet.
The eXPhone system will be line-fitted on Emirates' Boeing 777-300ER aircraft which are currently on order, and retrofitted on the aircraft already in operation. The first of the 84 additional installed aircraft is due to enter service later this year.
"We are absolutely committed to making sure our passengers are able to stay connected throughout their journey on Emirates. In recent years we have seen a huge number of people turn on their GSM phones onboard and it is only natural that we expand the service and offer more choice to our passengers by offering GPRS connectivity allowing the use of email or chat services such as BlackBerry or other smartphone services," said Patrick Brannelly, vice president of corporate communications product, publishing, digital and events for Emirates.