17 October 2012: SWIFTBROADBAND is powering the world’s first in-flight mobile phone service on board an A380 aircraft.
OnAir’s SwiftBroadband-based system will enable passengers on Emirates’ A380 flights to stay in touch with their family, friends and colleagues via phone calls or through the mobile data link on their personal devices.
The service is in addition to the OnAir WiFi service already available on the aircraft.
The OnAir system allows passengers to use their own mobile phones to make and receive phone calls and text messages in flight just as they would on the ground.
Emirates’ first A380 equipped with the full suite of OnAir connectivity services flew from Dubai International Airport to Munich International Airport on 2 October.
The first recorded A380 in-flight call was placed to China while the aircraft cruised at 11,500 metres (37,700 ft) across the Arabian Gulf.
“Beginning in 1993 with the first passenger satellite phone service to last year with our A380 Wi-Fi system, Emirates has always taken the approach that providing the latest in-flight service and connectivity is a key part of our passengers’ journey,” said Patrick Brannelly, Emirates’ Vice President of Corporate Communications.
“Emirates continue to invest in the most innovative technology possible and promises to keep pushing the boundaries of the in-flight innovation for the benefit of our passengers.”
The OnAir mobile system will be available on all future A380 deliveries and will be retrofit to Emirates’ current fleet of 25 A380 aircraft.
OnAir is a leading provider of solutions based on Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband service, which delivers high-quality voice and data communications through a single antenna to the whole aircraft.