Qantas in-flight SMS trial

National carrier Qantas has been given the green light to start testing in-flight mobile phone services, but only for email and text messages.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority late yesterday gave the thumbs-up to a limited evaluation of GSM mobile phones and GPRS devices, but only for one commercial aircraft.

According to a Qantas spokesperson, the three-month trial will involve a Boeing 767 plying between capital cities.

Qantas has decided to limit the evaluation to e-mail and text only, and disable voice services. The spokesperson said once the e-mail and SMS evaluation ends, Qantas will decide if voice calls should be tested. “We’re just starting this so we’ll see how it goes.”

The carrier first flagged plans to conduct the trial in August. Telstra, Panasonic Avionics and AeroMobile will be part of the exercise.


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