Telstra Slams Communications Authority Over Inflight Mobile Proposal

X

Telstra has slammed proposals for inflight mobile communications by the Australian Communications and Media Authority as slow, outdated and excessively expensive.

Telstra has slammed proposals for inflight mobile communications by the Australian Communications and Media Authority as slow, outdated and excessively expensive.

ACMA yesterday published 12 submissions it received from industry and consumer groups after it sought comment on a discussion paper it issued on the subject last year.

It received submissions from Aeromobile, the Alliance for Passenger Connectivity (an industry group), Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association; OnAir; Optus; Panasonic; Qantas; Telecommunications Consumer Group; Telstra; Virgin Blue; VHA; and a sole individual ­ Bill Peacock OAM, a Queensland marriage celebrant.

After carrying out tests in 2007 on a single Qantas aircraft with equipment from Aeromobile, a player in the field, ACMA is now proposing a system that would see aircraft equipped with “pico-cell” systems enabling passengers’
mobile handset to connect to a satellite system.

Mobile phone jammers would be used to prevent the mobiles connecting directly to Australia’s terrestrial mobile networks, like Telstra’s Next G, or Optus’s 1800/2100MHz network.

Services could only be operated when the aircraft is above 6000ft. And ACMA is proposing that service operators pay it a minimum fee of $100,000.
Passengers using the services would be up for international roaming charges ­ even though they wouldn’t leave Australia.

But the system ­ already in use in many parts of the world ­ limits mobile use to GSM-based voice, SMS messaging and e-mail ­ via the slow and outdated GPRS system.

High-speed Internet connections would apparently be impossible ­ and both Qantas and Virgin are understood to be planning to ban voice calls due to passenger privacy concerns.

According to Telstra’s submission, there’s no need for such a system:
contrary to ACMA’s assumptions, it says its terrestrial mobile network ­ Next G ­ would support high-speed data services from mobiles on aircraft right now.

And it adds: “The impact on consumers will be exacerbated by the proposed imposition of international roaming charges for the service”.

Telstra says that ­ given the far lower cost to consumers­ ACMA should be giving equal attention to licensing Wi-Fi services aboard aircraft, which would not require the use of jammers.

Qantas welcomes the pico-cell system, but it says the proposed licensing fee of $100,000 is “excessive” and wants it reconsidered. And it seeks a minimum 3000ft altitude for the services.

Virgin Blue also attacks the 6000ft limit and the $100,000 impost, which it describes as “double-dipping” by spectrum holders.

Aeromobile, whose GSM pico-cell system is favoured by ACMA, has also attacked the proposed $100K fee. It points out the going rate in Europe, the Middle East and Asia ranges from no charge at all to annual costs of US$100 per aircraft, or $2000 a year per licensee.

– FOOTNOTE: Bill Peacock had only one comment that was admirably brief:
“Consideration should be given to the in-flight needs of people with a disability who rely heavily on modern IT and communications techniques.”

ARL0355 Arlo Essential Spotlight Mothers Day 2021 Banner 728x90 FA scaled Telstra Slams Communications Authority Over Inflight Mobile Proposal
BEL2117 4Square AUF001 728x90 Telstra Slams Communications Authority Over Inflight Mobile Proposal
728x90 Telstra Slams Communications Authority Over Inflight Mobile Proposal
SmartHouse Yoga Slim Carbon 728 x 90 Telstra Slams Communications Authority Over Inflight Mobile Proposal
PAN1992 MWO Banners LB 728x90px V2 Telstra Slams Communications Authority Over Inflight Mobile Proposal
en us WD Black Banners Portfolio 728x90 Telstra Slams Communications Authority Over Inflight Mobile Proposal
Olimpia Splendid Unico Cooling 728x90 Telstra Slams Communications Authority Over Inflight Mobile Proposal
Banner Shyla 728x90 Telstra Slams Communications Authority Over Inflight Mobile Proposal
Flick of a switch 728x90 1 Telstra Slams Communications Authority Over Inflight Mobile Proposal
4Squre Ads 07 728x90 1 Telstra Slams Communications Authority Over Inflight Mobile Proposal


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE