OnAir and Siemens to provide lightweight GSM pico cell to enable mobile phone use in-flight
OnAir today welcomed Siemens as an important new partner in making
mobile phone use a reality on short and long haul flights on both
Boeing and Airbus aircraft.
Siemens has been chosen to work with Airbus to provide a lightweight
GSM pico cell and an on-board channel selector, major features
of the OnAir passenger communications system that will ensure
the safe and effective use of mobile phones on aircraft for the
George Cooper, OnAir CEO said, “This is a significant milestone.
Siemens bring huge expertise to this ground-breaking business
enterprise. We are very pleased that such a strong player in the
telecom industry is taking on a critical role in making the OnAir
Siemens is providing a lightweight GSM pico cell and on-board channel
selector which will ensure that passengers are able to use their
mobile phones during flights without generating interference to
the aircraft systems or to the ground mobile networks and thereby
complying with certification and regulatory requirements.
Siemens will work with Airbus which is responsible for the overall
design, development and certification of the OnAir passenger communications
system which will be installed or retro-fitted on any of the Airbus
A320 family of aircraft flying on routes in Western Europe by the
second half of 2006.
Cristoph Caselitz, President of the Mobile Networks Division at
Siemens, said, “We are very pleased that we were chosen to
partner with OnAir and Airbus in this high profile project. The
development of this technology will have a very positive impact
on the airline industry by meeting the communications needs of today’s
The aircraft crew will have access to a dedicated control panel
for switching the system into the selected service mode (e.g. text-only)
and monitoring the system status. This will ensure that “quiet”
times are respected in the cabin.
The full OnAir service portfolio will allow airline passengers to
use their personal devices, such as mobile phones, PDAs and laptops,
to communicate in a variety of ways during flights: to make and
receive phone calls, send and receive text messages, read and send
e-mails, access corporate networks, browse the internet or chat
over the internet.
OnAir in-seat SMS and mail services are already available on Asiana
Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Eva Airways, Iberia, KLM, Lauda
Italy, Malaysian Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Pakistan International
Airlines, Qantas and Virgin Atlantic.
OnAir is jointly owned by SITA INC (information Networking Computing)