European airlines ring in the changes on mobile devices

Two European Airlines will allow their passengers later this month to make mobile phone calls and send text messages from the comfort of their airline seats following an earlier ruling by European air regulators.

Budget airline Ryanair will commence the roll out of pico cell mobile stations on several of its planes within the next two weeks.

The company announced in 2006 that it had struck a deal with OnAir, a joint venture between SITA and Airbus, to equip its fleet so that its passengers could make mobile phone calls while in the air.

However, it was only in this summer that the European Aviation Safety Agency sanctioned the use of mobile phones in cabins in Europe.

BMI has also announced that it is going to use a single aircraft to trial a similar system also provided by onAir - but this trial will be limited to text and data only.

Both systems claim that their proximity to the mobile devices will ensure that these devices will be operating at a fraction of their power – thus ensuring that mobile transmissions do not interfere with onboard avionics.

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