Telstra has reportedly begun trialling the use of mobiles on passenger aircraft, with the devices connecting to its 4G network across Australia. The system, dubbed SkiNet, would use Telstra's existing towers to broadcast 4G signals to passing aircraft.
It has not yet been used on a commercial flight, but has reportedly been tested on flights between Melbourne and Sydney, using a Cessna prop-plane and a private jet.
Connections delivering up to 15Mbps were achieved, according to reports.
Telstra executive director Mike Wright was cockahoop. "We've achieved some of the fastest (broadband) speeds in this configuration that anybody has been able to do in the world so far,'' he told ITWire. "You can do the things on the aircraft that you would be able to do if you were in a Wi-Fi hotspot."
But it could be about two years before passengers are able to use this technology on board commercial flights within Australia.