Airborne comms now approved

Friday, 20 August, 2010

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has finalised radiocommunications licensing arrangements to facilitate mobile communication services on aircraft.

In areas which are not spectrum licensed, the new regulatory arrangements will authorise and license mobile communication services on aircraft by apparatus and class licences.

In spectrum licensed areas, mobile communication services on aircraft may be authorised by agreement with the spectrum licence holder.

The licensing arrangements will allow airlines to deploy mobile communication services on their aircraft through special onboard systems, should they choose to do so.

The use of onboard systems must at all times comply with airline safety and operational procedures. Calls connecting directly to terrestrial networks are not authorised under the licensing arrangements.

Should alternative, safe methods of mobile communication on aircraft be proposed for commercial operation in the future (including those that access Australia's terrestrial networks), the ACMA would move to consider those methods.

V Australia has announced plans to offer onboard SMS and data services subject to the ACMA making appropriate regulatory arrangements (which the licensing arrangements now facilitate).

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