OnAir and Airbus expect their wireless service for airplanes to launch after a key framework deal on coordinating telecom regulations is reached in February 2006. The regulation seeks to empower a plane's registered country as the overseer of licensing on-board wireless services. OnAir's service would allow passengers to use mobile phones, laptops, and PDAs while on board a plane and users would pay their own service provider for the access. The company expects its service to clock 700 millions users by 2009.
The agreement must still be finalized by Europe's Electronics Communications Committee (ECC), which is currently working on technical parameters that will be included in the framework. Results of preliminary tests conducted in September showed that the service did not interfere with aviation electronics. The system would also have to prove that is does not interfere with networks on the ground before earning regulatory approval.
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