Only Text, Email Allowed To Start... But Voice Calls Are
Somebody had to go first. Air France
recently began flying an Airbus A318 equipped with the Mobile OnAir
system, and is conducting a six-month test in Europe in which
passengers are allowed to use their mobile phones during the
Seat-pocket brochures instruct passengers on how to use the
system. Users are charged normal international rates, which appear
on their regular bills.
In the first phase of the test, only text and pictures or e-mail
can be sent. After three months, they'll open it up to receiving
and originating voice calls.
If the Air France test is successful, the technology may go on
to be tested in other countries. For better or worse, however, it's
unlikely the United States will be among them -- as the Federal
Communications Commission has declared repeatedly airliners will
remain cell-free zones.