Siemens has become the latest as OnAir partner to help make mobile phone use a reality on short and long haul flights on both Boeing and Airbus aircraft.
Siemens has been chosen to work with Airbus to provide a lightweight GSM pico cell and an on-board channel selector, major features of the OnAir passenger communications system that will ensure the safe and effective use of mobile phones on aircraft for the first time.
George Cooper (pictured), OnAir CEO said, “This is a significant milestone. Siemens bring huge expertise to this ground-breaking business enterprise. We are very pleased that such a strong player in the telecom industry is taking on a critical role in making the OnAir vision happen.”
Siemens is providing a lightweight GSM pico cell and on-board channel selector which will ensure that passengers are able to use their mobile phones during flights without generating interference to the aircraft systems or to the ground mobile networks and thereby complying with certification and regulatory requirements.
Siemens will work with Airbus which is responsible for the overall design, development and certification of the OnAir passenger communications system which will be installed or retro-fitted on any of the Airbus A320 family of aircraft flying on routes in Western Europe by the second half of 2006.
Cristoph Caselitz, President of the Mobile Networks Division at Siemens, said, “We are very pleased that we were chosen to partner with OnAir and Airbus in this high profile project. The development of this technology will have a very positive impact on the airline industry by meeting the communications needs of today’s airline passengers.”
The aircraft crew will have access to a dedicated control panel for switching the system into the selected service mode (e.g. text-only) and monitoring the system status. This will ensure that “quiet” times are respected in the cabin.