ASiQ announced today that it has applied for a patent that allows cell phones to be operated in-flight, without interfering with the aircraft's avionics and the ground networks.
The unit is attached to the cell phone via a standard Bluetooth or cable connection. Compatible with all cell phone networks, GSM, CDMA, UMTS and EDGE, the device communicates via the existing certified aviation communications networks and reduces data delivery cost as it does not rely on the cellular roaming network for transmission.
"Unlike the Airbus and Boeing in-flight cell phones programs, the ASiQ invention has been designed to prevent the cell phone transmitting, thereby eliminating the problem of interference with aircraft avionics and the ground network. Although the transmitter is shut down, only the ability to make a voice call in-flight is disabled. The cell phone will still function for SMS, emails and games," says Ron Chapman, ASiQ's President.
The benefit to the airline is their passengers will have cell phone access to a low cost data service, without the airline having to install and certify expensive and complicated Pico Cell equipment. For the cabin crew the concerns of privacy will also be addressed.
ASiQ plans to release the prototype at the upcoming World Airlines Entertainment Association (WAEA) Conference to be held in Miami September 12 to 15th. WAEA showcases the latest airline communication and entertainment technology.
Boeing has announced plans to test in-flight cell phone communication on its Connexion One plane.