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American and QUALCOMM Test In-Cabin Mobiles

Incorporated , pioneer and world leader of Code Division Multiple Access
(CDMA) digital wireless technology, and American Airlines, the world’s
largest carrier, today successfully demonstrated in-cabin voice
communications using commercially available CDMA mobile phones on a
commercial American Airlines aircraft. Through the use of an in-cabin
third-generation (3G) “picocell” network, passengers on the test flight
were able to place and receive calls as if they were on the ground. The proof-of-concept demonstration flight originated out of the
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. During the approximate two-hour
flight, passengers were able to place and receive phone calls and text
messages on their mobile phones. Passengers included members of the media
and government representatives.

A small in-cabin CDMA cellular base station on the plane, that uses
standard cellular communications, was connected to the worldwide
terrestrial phone network by an air-to-ground Globalstar satellite link.

The information gathered during this proof-of-concept demonstration flight
will be used to further research into the quality, convenience and safety
of communications with personal CDMA mobile phones carried by passengers
on a commercial aircraft.

“We are pleased to have worked so closely with American Airlines to
complete this proof-of-concept demonstration for the in-flight use of 3G
CDMA technology,” said Dr. Irwin Jacobs, chairman and CEO of QUALCOMM.
“Together, we have anticipated the future needs of wireless subscribers in
the airline industry and are aggressively driving the delivery of
innovative solutions to meet those needs.”

“Today, American Airlines and QUALCOMM showcased their strength as
technology pioneers and market leaders in their respective industries,”
said Dan Garton, executive vice president of marketing for American
Airlines. “American is committed to researching and providing innovative,
cutting-edge products and services that enhance our passengers’ traveling
experience and give our customers what they value. Even though commercial
availability of cell phone use in flight is approximately 24 months away,
American Airlines knows that our customers want to stay connected and this
proof-of-concept event is an important step in bringing in-cabin wireless
services to our customers.”


As a leader in technology, American Airlines continues to explore
communication solutions that include broadband wireless connectivity and
cellular communication.