Passengers to get a dedicated number for in-flight calls

Passengers will soon be able to buy prepaid SIM cards to talk, text and surf in the sky, in-flight communications provider AeroMobile has announced.

The company, which provides in-flight calling services to airlines including Emirates and Malaysia Airlines, will soon allow passengers to purchase and top up a SIM card like an ordinary prepaid handset.

The move will allow passengers to have one "in the sky" telephone number that can be accessed on board any AeroMobile-equipped aircraft.

Peter Tuggey, AeroMobile's chief commercial officer, told Relaxnews September 14 that the card could mean a reduction in costs for passengers, as AeroMobile and its partner airlines will be able to "get creative" with pricing structures to create voice, text or data bundles that suit different types of passengers.

Currently, passengers using AeroMobile's in-flight services must pay roaming rates set by their own mobile network.

Tuggey said that in the future, package holiday providers could include calling credit in the price of a holiday, or airlines could offer the cards as amenities for premium or frequent-flyer passengers.

The cards will be retailed through airlines and other third parties and are set to become available on Cathay Pacific in 2012, although with five other airlines set to begin using AeroMobile's technology in the next six months (V Australia, Virgin Atlantic, Air New Zealand, Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa), it's possible passengers could get their number in the sky before then.

http://www.aeromobile.net

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