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Singapore Airlines reseller launches in-flight calls and Internet

Singapore Airlines reseller launches in-flight calls and Internet

Services set to start in the first half of 2011, with phone calls, email, text messages and Internet during flights

Singapore Airlines is working with airline tech reseller, OnAir, to launch phone calls, messaging and in-flight wireless Internet services from the first half of 2011.

According to a statement released by the airline, its Airbus A380, Airbus A340-500 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft flying from Australia and the rest of the world will be connected via satellites to phone services and wireless networks.

GSM-enabled phones and smartphone devices like Blackberries will be able to send and receive calls, text messages and emails during flights. While calls will be billed as a global roaming service, Internet packages will need to be bought from the airline.

OnAir is a jointly-owned company split between Airbus and in-flight IT provider, SITA. Its CEO, Ian Dawkins, claimed the move would help make in-flight services mainstream.

“It sends a strong signal to the industry that inflight passenger communications has come of age – and is a must-have for airlines looking to remain competitive in the future,” he said in a statement.

Singapore Airlines is claiming to be the first Asian airline to offer a complete suite of in-flight connectivity services. Australian carrier, Qantas, provides GPRS-based Internet for smartphones using small base stations on domestic flights. V Australia is planning to offer SMS and Internet services through rival tech firm, AeroMobile.

Prices for the Singapore Airlines services have not been released.

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Tags QantasinternetwirelessMessagingSingapore AirlinesV AustraliaairbusOnAirin-flightSITA

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