In-flight mobile telephony will boost revenues – UAE

At the risk of saying “duh”, I could have told these folks this this a long, long time ago.

DUBAI— Fees for mobile telephony during commercial flights could reach 2 billion euros in Europe alone by 2010, and advancement in this technology will have a significant effect on Middle East business, according to Booz Allen principal, Uwe Lambrette.

Mobile technology is advancing so quickly that passengers onboard commercial airlines will soon be able to use their own mobile phones while in flight. Onboard base stations hold substantial revenue potential for mobile network providers and airlines, said Booz Allen, a global strategy and technology consulting firm.

“The Middle East in general and hubs such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Jeddah and Riyadh in specific are witnessing increasing traffic year-on-year so in-flight mobile telephony will certainly have an impact on the region,” said vice-president, Karim Sabbagh “If you combine that with the fact that mobile phone penetration is advancing rapidly in our region you can see why something such as onboard base stations would be of considerable importance.”

The latest figures released by Etisalat yesterday show the mobile penetration in the UAE has now reached 120 per cent. Alliances and strategic partnerships will be key to maximising the market’s potential, says Lambrette. He believes air travel with full mobile accessibility — except for take off and landing — will be standard by 2010, with usage rates exceeding 100 million passengers in Europe alone. He also predicts that many airlines will permit and offer mobile telephony this year. Airlines could gain significant competitive advantage if they invest in the technology…. Source: