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Wed, Dec 22, 2010

Introducing: The Worlds Most Expensive Mobile Phone App

Connects Bluetooth Devices To Satellite Links In Biz Jets

An Australian company has introduced what it says is the world’s most expensive mobile phone app, but is quick to add they think it's worth the money.

For most people, $12,500 for a mobile phone App is expensive. But ASiQ says that, if you own a private jet and the app lets you use your mobile phone in-flight to make a phone call, it’s (relatively)cheap. Particularly when conventional aircraft mobile phone systems can cost up to five hundred thousand dollars.

"After we flight tested the original SafeCell data App and announced the world’s first Bluetooth Access Point, we were inundated with requests from corporate jet operators for a voice and data solution," said ASiQ’s CEO Ron Chapman. "What we realized was, the majority of corporate jets already had an inexpensive satellite link onboard. And once we connected the mobile phone to the satellite link using Bluetooth, we ended up with a very inexpensive mobile phone voice and data solution." The app connects the phone via Bluetooth, instead of its primary transmitter. "SafeCell delivers virtually the same features you receive from a conventional aircraft mobile phone system, but without the $500K price tag, roaming charges or additional 85Kg of weight," he said.

Chapman also pointed to what he says is a unique piece of software, which controls the satellite link and converts any existing aircraft server, cockpit tablet, Laptop, Netbook or Tablet PC into a mobile phone access point. "Most corporate aircraft have some form of computer onboard, even if it’s just a laptop," he said. "We can utilise the existing systems to connect them straight away, which is a further cost savings.  For those who want a more permanent solution, for an additional $10,000 they can install the SafeCell SC-AP. A combined aircraft server and Bluetooth access point.”

The initial App release is for Blackberry, Nokia and all Symbian based mobile phones and PDA’s. Android will follow shortly after. The company says that because the iPhone has a very restricted Bluetooth capability there is an additional configuration fee.

Using Bluetooth to connect directly into the existing satellites ground stations allows the device to operate outside of the global mobile roaming network, which the company says eliminating roaming charges and the requirement for Telco approval. Conventional aircraft mobile phone technology is locked to the global mobile roaming network and when connected via satellite creates one of the most expensive mobile phone services in the world, and is unavailable for use in the US. Bluetooth is documented as safe for use in aircraft and does not have these restrictions.

SafeCell Bizjets considers its initial target market to be around 16,000 corporate aircraft equipped with a satellite link.



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