People can use the connection as long as their mobile operator has a roaming agreement with AeroMobile - O2, Three and Vodafone are among 220 mobile phone operators across 100 countries to offer the service. Usage fees are added to the user's phone bill and are typically in line with international roaming fees.
The Dutch-French airline will initially offer the service on its Amsterdam to Panama and Paris Charles de Gaulle to New York JFK on two Boeing B777-300 aircraft. Working with the Panasonic Avionics’ eXPhone service, AeroMobile, a GSM operator based in the UK, installs its tech at the point of aircraft manufacture or as a retrofit to Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
AeroMobile has been in operation since 2008 and says that 17m air passengers have already used it inflight. It is currently available on nine airlines, including Emirates, Etihad and Virgin Atlantic. "We expect the number of aircraft offering our service to double over the next 12 months as more and more airlines see the benefit of offering inflight connectivity," said Kevin Rogers, CEO of AeroMobile.