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Issue #2003 - 25 (September 2003)
(Updated Sept. 12, 2003)


Airlines Plan In-Flight Text Messaging

Source: UK Technology News - Vnunet.com

After a year-long trial of one-way SMS onboard Singapore Airlines flights, airline technology provider SITA is to launch a commercial two-way service. 

The company is working with several airlines to introduce two-way SMS and e-mail by the end of the year. 

Passengers will be able to send and receive SMS or e-mail using their in-seat telephone handset. 

SMS messages can be up to 160 characters, and users will be able to pay for the service by credit card or by using SITA's Aircom prepaid calling card. 

The cost per message has yet to be finalised, but SITA spokeswoman Brigitte Renaud said that pricing would be commercially agreed between the airlines, with SITA taking into consideration what passengers are prepared to pay. 

The service will be supported through SITA's Aircom satellite which links via Inmarsat satellites into the company's SMS service. 

According to Renaud the service will not interfere with any vital flight systems. 

"It is only going to be a software upgrade, with no additions to the existing airborne configuration, so there is nothing to worry about," she said.

MobileInfo Comments and Advisory: SMS-based text messaging during flight is a a very useful service that most airline travelers, especially professionals, will appreciate. While we are still awaiting Boeing's Connexion type Internet service at affordable prices, this one should be attractive. It will fly only if priced right and not like $5 per minute telephone call from up in the sky.

Note: This news release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and section 21E of Securities Exchange act of 1934 in USA. Similar provisions exist in other countries. There is no assurance that the stipulated plans of vendors will be implemented. MobileInfo does not warrant the authenticity of the information. Readers should take appropriate caution in developing plans utilizing these products, services and technology architectures.  All trademarks used in this summary are the property of their respective owners.

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