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Live Demo of in-flight mobile service at WAEA
Posted: 21-Sep-2004 [Source: Telenor]

[ARINC/Telenor Mobile Connectivity system expected to be priced under $100,000 per aircraft.]

Annapolis, MD & Oslo, Norway -- ARINC Incorporated and Telenor today unveiled a new technology that makes in-flight mobile phone service a reality. The two companies are giving a live demonstration of their in-cabin GSM mobile phone solution this week at the World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA) conference in Seattle, Washington. WAEA attendees are invited to place and receive calls on their personal mobile phones.

"We have passed all the technology and pricing hurdles," stated Graham Lake, ARINC Vice President and Managing Director, Europe, Middle East & Africa. "Our in-cabin system, exactly as shown here, will fit aboard thousands of today's passenger jets very economically, and with no additional satellite equipment required. The remaining challenges to in-flight mobile phone service are basically regulatory in nature."

"Significantly, the ARINC/Telenor Mobile Connectivity system is expected to be priced well under $100,000 per aircraft--far less than competing technologies," said Berit Svendsen, chief technical officer for Telenor. "It makes use of the existing Inmarsat satellite equipment already found on most long-range aircraft today. Installation requires only a small 'picocell' system to be located in the cabin, allowing passengers to use their GSM mobile phones in flight just as on the ground--for both voice and text messages."

ARINC and Telenor have installed their picocell system at WAEA booth #323, and connected it to an operational Inmarsat Aero-H system located on the convention center roof via a standard CEPT-E1 avionics digital link. The configuration is identical to SATCOM equipment already found on many large passenger jets, business jets and governmental jets. The use of pre-existing satellite capability is the major factor in the system's low cost.

The two companies completed successful ground tests of their system earlier this month. (See ARINC-Telenor Press Release, September 16, 2004.) They are offering airlines a comprehensive, one-stop installation and implementation package, including transparent billing services to passengers' regular mobile accounts. Charges are expected to be similar to international roaming rates on the ground.

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