The German technology company plans to locate a nano-GSM/GPRS base station in the ceiling of the plane, allowing the wireless signal to reach the entire plane.
Siemens claims that the base station is the smallest cellular transmitter in
The transmitter is expected to use an internet connection via satellite to relay communications to the ground, and Airbus aims to have the first GSM-enabled plane in the air by 2006.
Regulations prohibiting the use of phones in aircraft were recently lifted after fears of interfering signals were proven to be baseless.
The issue of in-flight mobile availability remains hotly debated, however. While some business travellers see it as a 'must have' feature, many passengers have voiced discomfort with the idea of their neighbours talking on mobile phones.
In a recent survey 63 per cent of respondents opposed lifting the ban, and 70 per cent requested separate seating sections for phone users.
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