In-flight mobile provider OnAir can now operate on the networks of all four of the UKs big carriers, after Vodafone and Orange granted permission. The company, which enables mobile phone calls to be made from planes while they’re in the air, was already operating with O2 and T-Mobile.
OnAir uses antennae on aircraft to allow users to make mobile calls from the plane. Orange and Vodafone had previously refused OnAir permission to use their networks, apparently because they were worried about high roaming charges for consumers – which is reasonable, seeing as OnAir charges £2.50 per minute for calls. OnAir claims it will try to stave off angry customers and bill shock by making it’s prices very clear through brochures and SMS.
Source: The Times Online
From the story:
Benoît Debains, chief executive of OnAir, said: “There was concern that people would be horrified by the bill, but we have agreed with the operators how to do it and hopefully all passengers will be able to use the system soon. Cost is no big deal because the average communication is two minutes.”
What we think?
At over €3 a minute for voice calls, I’d be tempted to wait until you landed before you made that call. And the excuse that Orange and Vodafone were worried about their customers sounds pretty thin to me – I would imagine that they only acquiesced to OnAir because they looked at creating the solution themselves and found it too expensive.