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
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