Airbus to make A380 cell phone ready

Feb 16 2005 - 12:47 AM ET | In The News
Airbus has signed a deal with OnAir that will allow it to offer cell phone access inside the new A380 super jumbo aircraft. Airlines will be given the option. Currently cell phones are not allowed to be used on US flights, but the FCC and FAA are evaluating the rule. European approval should be easier to gain. Even while in-air cellular communication is technically plausible, many consumers treasure the relative silence in airplane cabins. OnAir has recognized this fear and noted that voice service could be disabled by the crew during night time hours (text messages would still work). Since planes fly out of conventional tower range, access will be provided by OnAir. International calls should be priced at $2 to $2.50 per minute while text messages around 50ยข both to send and receive. With prices like that it's unlikely you'll sit next to someone chatting for more than a few minutes.