I am sure you have heard of Sir Richard Branson, genius entrepreneur, and at the heart of his business empire is Virgin Atlantic. A fleet of planes which fly across the world from a range of British airports, including Edinburgh, London Heathrow, and Manchester, well the good news is that these planes will be kitted out with the latest in-flight entertainment and mobile phone systems in partnership with Panasonic.
Yet again, Mr. Branson always at the forefront of brilliant ideas. Virgin Atlantic has become the first airline in Britain to offer such a service. Virgin is going to allow mobile phone calls on planes. The company is looking at launching it on the New York to London route, on the new Airbus A330, and if all goes well, which it should, the company will launch the service on 17 of their planes on 10 other routes by the end of the year.
Customers will be able to make calls at approximately 35,000 above the earth’s surface, just as if they were making it on the ground. Aerial communication has been a long time coming, hot air balloons in the late 18th Century were used to spot the enemy with their high-level advantage. They were then able to send the information to the ground. So aerial communication has had its moments in its history.
Only 6 people at a time will be able to use the service in flight, this is because of the limited bandwidth, and the service will be closed to users during take-off and landing. And no phone calls with 250 miles of US airspace permitted.
Revealed at a press conference as the company celebrated its tenth year of flying to Las Vegas, Sir Richard explained that being able to watch live broadcasts would be a huge step for travel entertainment. Mr. Branson revealed that the partnership with Panasonic could result in passengers being able to utilize mobile phone services, email, social networking, and the Internet.
No mobile calls during take-off and landing. And no phone calls with 250 miles of US airspace permitted.
Whilst these services won’t be free, mobile phone calls on planes, customers would be charged on a pay-per-use, at standard international rates, he added that the technological advances would allow travellers far cheaper deals than the services currently provided. Virgin said they were to overhaul the entire fleet over the next three years, offering passengers the next generation of entertainment.
I wonder if this is something that will take off soon?