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A solution to allow in-plane GSM calls?
Posted on 30-May-2003 08:19. | Tags Filed under: News.

A solution to allow in-plane GSM calls?
Lufthansa is now offering wi-fi during flights, and all of its aircrafts will be wi-fi capable in the next few months. But what about mobile phone calls? Altobridge offers a solution for this problem.

Their product offer a GSM picocell for use in-plane. Predicted increases in usage are to be in several hundred percent due to the ability to be contactable (receive calls) and to be able to make contact during the flight. Research has shown that 64% of mobile phone users on long haul aircraft request the ability to be contactable and initiate calls. The entire solution is designed to offer business passengers a working environment similar to that which they would expect on the ground, i.e. the use of laptops, PDAs, cellphones etc.

The Altobridge solution is a dual, onboard system that works by monitoring the aircraft passenger cabins and actually setting the power input and output signals of GSM handsets on aircraft to extremely low levels, typically in the 100 to 200 micro-Watt range. With RF signals at such low strengths no spurious interference can affect vital aircraft systems but passengers can both make and receive GSM call whilst in flight.

The company will have a prototype fitted to an executive jet and in the air during the fourth quarter of the year and plans call for Altobridge first to concentrate on the US business jet market before moving on, in a year’s time or so, to commercial aircraft fleets.

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