Press Release
Press Release



U.K. Gives Preliminary Approval To Cell Phones On Aircraft
U.K. Gives Preliminary Approval To Cell Phones On Aircraft
March 26, 2008


Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for U.K. communications industries, confirmed plans to enable airlines to offer mobile communications services on U.K.-registered aircraft, Ofcom announced March 26.

The system routes cell phone service through an on-board base station, which enables the phones to use the aircraft's network service to make and receive calls routed via a satellite link to the network on the ground. The announcement comes less than a week after the world's first authorized in-flight mobile call was made on a commercial flight from Dubai to Casablanca via Inmarsat's network using AeroMobile's in-flight solution.

“We welcome Ofcom's decision, which opens development of services within the European Union,” Andrew Sukawaty, Inmarsat's chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “Inmarsat recognises that a great deal of thought will be applied by airlines on how best to introduce this new service. The Inmarsat-based system can be used to establish quiet zones, time restrictions or voice service limitations, giving airlines the flexibility they need.
Inmarsat can supply the opportunity; the airlines will determine the relevant applications.”

The European Aviation Safety Agency and the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority must still approve the plan.