June 12 2013  |  Inflight Entertainment

Etihad dedicates AeroMobile-connected fleet to Abu Dhabi–JFK route

By Lauren Brunetti

Passengers on Etihad Airways’ daily flights between New York and Abu Dhabi can now use their own mobile phones to text, browse and call, thanks to Panasonic Avionics’ eXPhone service and AeroMobile, the leading inflight mobile phone operator.

The national airline of the United Arab Emirates launched the Wi-Fi and GSM-enabled Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on 1 June, increasing capacity on the New York route by 36.6 per cent.

The aircraft replaces the Airbus A340-500 and makes it possible for the airline to offer inflight connectivity on every flight to and from New York.

Etihad launched its inflight connectivity services with AeroMobile and Panasonic in November 2012 with a commitment to install the services across the entire fleet.

To date 13 Etihad aircraft have been equipped with inflight connectivity, and the airline has an aggressive roll-out plan which will see the whole fleet covered by mid-2014.

A registered GSM service provider for the aviation industry, AeroMobile provides the mobile network for airline passengers to roam inflight.

Passengers on Etihad Airways can use the mobile phone service as long as their operator has a roaming agreement with AeroMobile.

AeroMobile has agreements with over 220 mobile phone operators across 100 countries, including full coverage in the UAE with Etisalat and Du. It also recently confirmed AT&T as a roaming partner in the US and has an agreement with T-Mobile USA. UK-based roaming partners include O2, Three and Vodafone.

Passengers who use the service are billed by their mobile phone operator, and prices vary depending on individual contracts. Prices are typically similar to ‘rest of world’ rates, or in some cases, lower.

“We’re delighted to be working with Etihad Airways to roll out inflight mobile connectivity across their whole fleet,” said Kevin Rogers, CEO of AeroMobile.

“AeroMobile equipped aircraft already fly to more than 330 destinations in 90 countries across the world, and we expect the number of aircraft offering our service to double over the next 12 months as more and more airlines are seeing the benefit of offering inflight mobile connectivity to their passengers,” continues Rogers. 

AeroMobile Communications Limited is a UK-based GSM service provider for the aviation industry. AeroMobile provides world class, proven, technology and services that enable airline passengers to use their own mobile phones for voice, texting and mobile data whilst inflight.

As part of the Panasonic Group’s Global Communication Suite, AeroMobile’s services are available for installation either at the point of aircraft manufacture (line fit) or on aircraft in service (retrofit) across both Airbus and Boeing aircraft.

Since 2008, over 17 million passengers have connected to the AeroMobile network inflight.

The AeroMobile service is currently available across nine airlines, including Emirates, Etihad and Virgin Atlantic, with the number expected to double in the next 12 months.


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