Chinese airlines looking to in-flight mobile

Summary:Three major airlines in China are said to have signed agreements with China Mobile and China Unicom to offer in-flight mobile use, but the carriers have reportedly denied making such plans.

Three major airlines in China are said to have signed agreements with China Mobile and China Unicom to offer in-flight mobile use, but the carriers have reportedly denied making such plans.

Media reports last week pointed to deals between the two local mobile operators and China Southern Airlines, Air China and China Eastern Airlines. The plans have been submitted to the Chinese Government for approval, the airlines were reported to have said at a forum held by China Air Transport Association (CATA) last week.

The carriers were said to have plans to charge 15 RMB (AU$2.50) per minute for usage.

Last month, China Mobile chairman Wang Jianzhou revealed that the company had been in talks with Chinese airlines to provide in-flight mobile services, the Shanghai Daily reported.

However, the airlines have reportedly denied the moves. Citing a report by the Beijing Business Today, the People's Daily Online said a China Southern Airlines official clarified that the carrier neither signed any agreements with operators nor made any applications to government regulators to provide in-flight mobile services. Air China and China Eastern Airlines also denied making similar plans.

An expert quoted in the article noted that to provide in-flight mobile services, airliners will need to ensure support not only from mobile operators but also satellite telecommunication operators. In addition, planes will need to be retrofitted.

Via ZDNet Asia

Topics: Mobility, China

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