Sunday, April 20, 2008

France Wants Phones in Flight

Air France is vying to be the first airline carrier to allow passengers to use cellular phones during flight. 

The French airline had a test last week to see how plausible cellular communication is at 20,000 feet above sea level.  The results were not as hoped. 

Officials on the air carrier said service was shoddy and sounded as though they were talking to a small robot. 

American air carriers have not entered experimental stages with cell phones citing their patrons vehemently opposed the measure. 

Kinks still need to be worked out between the phone companies and the air lines. The air lines realized they have stumbled on a market they can't afford not to be a part of. 

The technology, which allows cellphone users to make and receive calls through an on board base station linked to a satellite, delivers a still-patchy quality that keeps most in-flight calls short and tinny. And then there are the eye-popping roaming charges of up to 3 euros ($4.72) a minute. 

Now all that is left to do is wait to see if the technology advances and if American air carriers catch on.