Singapore Airlines to introduce mobile phone calling and internet connectivity onboard

Singapore Airlines is collaborating with inflight connectivity provider OnAir (jointly owned by Airbus and SITA) to provide passengers on its Airbus A380, A340-500 (nonstop Singapore Newark and Los Angeles), and Boeing 777-300ER flights, a full suite of on-board communication offerings, including access to Wi-Fi Internet and GSM compatible mobile telephony services including SMS texting, email messages, and voice calls.

The airline plans to roll out the services in the first half of 2011, but the carrier has not specified a launch date as yet.

Passengers will pay for their usage via their telecom provider’s phone bills, at international GSM roaming rates. For internet access, passengers will have to sign up for an access package when logging in to the system. However, the airline has not divulged any pricing details for either service which it says “will be announced closer to the launch.”

Just a week ago the carrier also announced the introduction of a new western classical music channel on its aircraft equipped with the Panasonic eX2 AVOD systems. These are again the same three types of aircraft.

Some of the music tracks are:

  1. The Salzburg festival opening concert 2010 by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra — conducted by Daniel Barenboim, one of today’s leading pianists and conductors,
  2. Lucrezia Borgia, an Italian opera performed by Edita Gruberova, the world’s undisputed Queen of bel canto, as her concert debut,
  3. Così Fan Tutte – Director Claus Guth’s concluding production of Mozart’s da Ponte trilogy for the Salzburg Festival,
  4. Dudamel and The Simon Boliver Youth Orchestra, declared ‘the biggest audience hit of the summer’ at the Salzburg Festival by Munich daily Münchner Merkur; and
  5. La Traviata by Anna Netrebko, the acclaimed Russian soprano, and the Wiener Philharmoniker

Regrettably neither of the two announcement apply to the carrier’s Boeing 777-200, 777-300, or A330 fleet which are used on flights to the airline’s destinations in India, though it does offer one daily Boeing 777-300ER flight each, ex Mumbai and ex New Delhi.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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