Siemens and Airbus go for mile-high love-in

Airborne mobile from next year

Airborne mobile from next year

Siemens and Airbus have announced a partnership to create equipment allowing air travellers to use GSM mobiles during flights.

The pair are hoping for a 2006 launch for the system, with Siemens taking care of the GSM technology, via the planes' base station, and Airbus looking after the integration of the mobile tech with existing electronics systems, as well as marketing and maintenance.

The technology will enable travellers to use their own phones or PDAs for the duration of the journey, according to Airbus. The in-flight calls will use an IP-based system, linked to the terrestrial GSM network via satellite.

According to analysts Booz Allen Hamilton, mobiles on planes will begin to take off from 2008 and will generate revenues of €2bn, garnering 100 million users by the end of the decade.