Siemens and Airbus Develop Mobile Phone Airplane Technology

July 10, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

Siemens AG (Munich, Germany) announced that it has signed an exclusive contract with Airbus to jointly develop technology to use mobile phones in airplanes. Airbus will be responsible for the overall design, development and certification of the passenger communications system. No financial details of the agreement between Siemens and Airbus were given.

Siemens will provide lightweight GSM pico-cell network equipment, that can be used for wireless communications in indoor environments, using the normal global system for mobile communications, or GSM, technology. The system will be installed or retrofitted on any Airbus A320 aircraft flying on routes in Western Europe by the second half of 2006. The system can also be installed on Boeing aircraft. The service will also allow passengers to use other mobile devices, such as PDAs and laptops on airplanes.