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Get your in-flight calling on…in Dubai

March 21st, 2008 at 4:02 PM


We’re pretty fond of anything that allows us to be connected in as many places as possible. Blackberry service on remote beaches, HSDPA coverage atop mountain peaks, etc. That said, in-flight calling is a bit too much for us to take. We’re all for airborne communications, and can’t wait for the day when emailing and surfing is as ubiquitous in first class as it is in Starbucks. That said, an airplane is no place for a telephone conversation. Unfortunately, it looks like Dubai-based Emirates Air didn’t get the memo. The uber-high class airline has just announced that they will be allowing in-flight cell phone calls, testing the first-ever system on a recent flight between Dubai and Casablanca. The plane was an Airbus A340, equipped with a special system that prohibits cellular interference with the in-flight communications system. The system allows the flight crew to prevent calling “at certain times”, limiting passengers to email and SMS whenever they see fit. Furthermore, passengers will be asked to keep their phones on silent mode. A nice gesture, but once the yapping starts, it will be little solace to the poor guy sitting next to you. Emirates plans to roll this out to more aircraft by the end of the year, and hopes to include data services for Blackberries and other PDAs. Uh oh.


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