British Airline Virgin Atlantic teamed up with AeroMobile, a GSM service provider for the aviation industry, to bring an in-flight cell phone service for voice calls to its new Airbus A330-300 aircrafts and refitted Boeing 747s. AeroMobile’s technology creates a small cell network on the plane, which routes calls from the aircraft through a satellite network that relays the calls to the ground. During flights, six passengers at a time will also be able to use the service for sending and receiving text messages, emails and web access via GPRS. As U.S. regulations forbid cell phone usage on commercial flights, the service won’t be available on flights to New York or other destinations in the US Virgin Atlantic is operating flights to.
Initially, the service will only be available for customers of European cell phone providers O2 and Vodafone. International roaming costs will apply during fights.