At the end of last week, Qantas revealed that it would be offering in-flight Net access on domestic flights by the end of the year. The service will appear first on domestic B767-300 and A330-200 aircraft.
It also revealed the technology it would be using for its service. You'd think Wi-Fi would be the sensible choice, right? Apparently, you'd be wrong. It's using a mobile phone base station designed by AeroMobile to provide GPRS connectivity to mobile phones. The base station will also provide text messaging support, but no voice call support (the technology is capable of voice, but Qantas isn't turning it on).
To access the Net while you're on-board, you'll need a mobile phone with international roaming and GPRS support. Of course, if you want to access the Net from a PC, you'll also need a PC connection kit for your phone.
We have no idea of the pricing as yet, but given it's based on an international roaming profile, we expect it to be very, very expensive. We'll keep you posted as more details come to light. [apcmag.com]