For the international business traveller taking the busy route across the Atlantic from London to New York, one of the biggest drawbacks is the inability to make calls during the flight. While many airlines have been offering in-flight Wi-Fi access for some time now, Virgin Atlantic in your own innovative fashion have become the first two allow the passengers to make voice calls on their mobile phones on planes in full flight.
With virgin been taken typically known as the trendsetters in just about everything, experts predict that it will be only a matter of time before the other companies offering transatlantic flights will begin to follow.
For the time being, Virgin will allow voice calls, limited to O2 and Vodafone subscribers travelling on board its brand new A330 planes between London and New York.
When a new service gets underway, passengers will be able to make and receive calls, send texts and surf the net in any cabin classes. They will only need to make sure that an international roaming service has been set, and that international roaming is enabled on their mobile phones.
Provided by AeroMobile, this revolutionary service will be permitted by sending a wireless signal from the passenger’s mobile appliance through a router on the plane, transmitted to satellites for onward transmission.
Spokesman for Virgin announced the service will be available on twenty aircrafts on the company’s fleet by the end of 2012.
On the downside, bandwidth will be limited, meaning that passengers will only be able to enjoy basic web access, placing any form of live streaming and online gaming out of bounds, at least for the time being.
As you would expect, mobiles phones can only be used once the aircraft has reached cruising altitude and must still be switched off during take-off or landing.
Also, as the East Coast begins to appear on the horizon, passengers will be obliged to switch off as US federal laws forbid any form of voice calls within a 250-mile radius of US airspace. To prevent any temptations on the part of the passenger who refuse to be interrupted mid sentence, Virgin will turn off the routers as the limit approaches.
While the service may be very appealing to a few who need to reach and be reached, even above the clouds, the costs involved will probably scare off most.
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