ARINC and Telenor Complete Successful Ground Testing of In-Flight GSM Mobile Phone System; Companies to Offer Test Program to Airlines
ANNAPOLIS, Md. & OSLO, Norway--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 16, 2004--In an industry breakthrough, ARINC Incorporated and Telenor today announced they have successfully completed ground tests of a new mobile phone technology for use by passengers on commercial airlines.
The companies are demonstrating their satellite-based solution at the World Airline Entertainment Association's 2004 conference, September 20-24 in Seattle, WA.
Significantly, the ARINC/Telenor Mobile Connectivity system makes use of existing satellite capability, operating over Inmarsat equipment already in use on thousands of the world's passenger aircraft. The system works with GSM type mobile phones, a technology used by approximately 75% of the more than 1.5 billion mobile subscribers in the world. A small 'picocell' system is located in the cabin, allowing passengers to use their phones in flight just as they do on the ground--for both voice and text messages.
"We have made a breakthrough in communicating today's complex mobile phone protocols over the Inmarsat SATCOM connection," stated Graham Lake, ARINC Vice President and Managing Director, Europe, Middle East & Africa. "We accomplished this feat with newly-developed proprietary software. Ground tests were completed this month in Ireland with multiple simultaneous calls placed successfully through the satellite."
"We are very satisfied with completing the ground tests," noted Berit Svendsen, chief technical officer for Telenor. "We still believe that the major value creation is extending a successful mobile network onboard aircraft. Telenor currently has more than 220 international roaming agreements, and our service will enable these subscribers to use their own mobile phones--with their own mobile subscriptions."
ARINC and Telenor are ready to offer the airlines a test program that includes a comprehensive, one-stop implementation package for the service and transparent billing to passengers' regular mobile accounts. The cost of a call is expected to be similar to existing international roaming rates on the ground.
With headquarters in Oslo, Norway, Telenor is an international provider of high quality telecommunications, data, and media services, with expanding operations in international mobile and satellite communications. Telenor is one of Norway's largest companies with 2003 revenues of approximately U.S. $7.6 billion and a workforce of 20,600 located in Norway and abroad. Telenor is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (TEL) and the NASDAQ (TELN). For more information, visit Telenor's web site at www.telenor.com.
ARINC Incorporated is the world leader in transportation communications and systems engineering. The company develops and operates communications and information processing systems and provides systems engineering and integration solutions to five key industries: airports, aviation, defense, government, and surface transportation. Founded to provide reliable and efficient radio communications for the airlines, ARINC is headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland, and operates key regional offices in London and Singapore, with over 3,000 employees worldwide. ARINC is ISO 9001:2001 Certified. For more information, visit the ARINC web site at www.arinc.com.
Telenor Satellite Services
Bernt Fanghol, +47 90822266
Richard A. Hoad, +44 1293 76 3296