Mobile Services Legal, But Not Imminent, On Australia Flights

Lifehacker has been an enthusiastic consumer of on-board Internet and a vaguely interested tester of SMS services, so the news that ACMA has officially approved technology to allow in-flight calls and data in Australia is welcome news. But even if the thought of the loud person sitting next to you also having a mobile fills you with panic, bear in mind it will be some time before any services actually exist.

ACMA has finalised its licensing rules for aircraft offering services, which means airlines can offer voice and data services via special equipment on board planes. However, the arrangement means that you won't be able to directly connect to your existing provider: instead, you'll be routed through a plane-based system (and charged for the privilege).

ACMA's announcement notes that V Australia is already planning to offer a service, and Qantas has run trials of similar systems in the past. Nonetheless, it's likely to be a while before those options actually become available, and even when they do, lots of people will balk at the prices associated, I suspect.



    As someone who use to work as an air traffic controller let me tell you that this is the reason why we have not been able to use mobile phones on planes all along.
    People seriously believed that talking on a mobile phone in a plane could cause the plane to crash? Theyre deluded.

    Now, this 'new technology' which pipes you though 'special equipment' at a hugely inflated price proves there is no harm in using phones on planes.
    Your mobile is still broadcasting a signal which has been the alleged fear all along. . . the mobile signal interfering with the planes operations.

    The real reason why we havent been able to use mobile phones on planes?
    When youre flying that fast and using a mobile your signal is rapidly hopping from one mobile tower receiver next. Mobile phone providers can not accurately and properly trace your call and there for can not charge you.

    But now we have this fancy new technology that allows to make calls from a plane but at a drastically inflated price?

    As with all things it is all about money.

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