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Two-way SMS to be available in flight soon
Posted on 13-Sep-2003 13:23 | Tags Filed under: News

If you get irritated while watching a movie and someone's mobile beeps (or play a horrible tone) when a SMS comes in, wait until you're trying to sleep on a plane over the ocean, and a few mobile phones start beeping. Or if bored teenagers start playing SMS tag games while in flight . One other thing not clear is how the SMS will actually work. Since passengers can't turn their mobile phones on, I believe each will receive a mobile terminal to be used inside the plane?

SITA's press release says:

Now commercially available and enabled, SITA's AIRCOM SMS service is generating interest from airlines worldwide wanting to offer their passengers the option to send and receive SMS text messages while in flight. SITA is currently working with several airlines to introduce the two-way SMS/email by the end of 2003 and hopes to soon announce the launch customer.

This latest launch endorses a successful year for SITA's SMS services, following the successful trials of the AIRCOM SMS one-way service on board Singapore Airlines aircraft in 2002.

Airlines using existing SATCOM avionics to operate in-flight entertainment services can introduce SITA's AIRCOM SMS service with ease, as a simple software upgrade is all that is required with no need for additions to existing airborne configuration.

The SMS can be up to 160 characters in length - incorporating words, numbers and certain country-extended character sets. Passengers will be able to choose between paying for the service using their own credit card, or using SITA's AIRCOM Prepaid Calling Card.

Available worldwide, the service is supported through SITA's Satellite AIRCOM which links via Inmarsat satellites into SITA's global network solutions and its global Message Connect Mobile SMS service. This ensures that airlines, airports and other travel companies can also use SMS to quickly inform their staff and passengers on their mobile phones or pagers of important information concerning their travel plans, such as reservations, flight related information or promotional messages.

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