Arinc and Norwegian telecom company Telenor's in-flight GSM mobile phone technology, which uses software from Ireland's Altobridge, will be commercially available for airframe manufacturers from the first quarter of next year. To be flight-tested by the end of this year, the Altobridge software enables the Arinc/Telenor technology's on-board phone mast, known as a pico cell, to link with an Inmarsat satellite only when a call is made or text message sent or received, reducing satellite useage costs. The software also enables the pico cell to be retrofitted to existing Inmarsat-equipped aircraft.

The Altobridge product is also being integrated into the airborne and ground segments of Honeywell's in-flight mobile phone product for the business aviation market, which is to be available to airframers by mid-year. It completed flight-testing in August last year.

As well as GSM, Honeywell is requiring Altobridge's software to enable operation with other cellular networks and wireless technologies. The Honeywell system will see in-flight users billed for a roaming call by their phone service provider.

Source: Flight International