The $12,500 price tag on ASiQ’s mobile phone app might seem pricey, but by comparison with the $500,000 private jet mobile phone systems currently in service, it seems reasonable.
According to Ron Chapman, CEO of the Australian firm, “After we flight tested the original SafeCell data application [app] and announced the worldπs first Bluetooth access point [for the airlines], we were inundated with requests from corporate jet operators for a voice and data solution.”
In considering the market demand, ASiQ noted that the majority of corporate jets already had an inexpensive satellite link on board, and “once we connected the mobile phone to the satellite link using Bluetooth, we ended up with an inexpensive mobile phone [for] voice and data.” The app software controls the satellite link and converts any existing aircraft server–cockpit tablet, laptop, netbook or tablet PC–into a mobile phone access point.
In effect, said Chapman, SafeCell delivers virtually the same features as a conventional aircraft mobile phone system, but without the $500,000 price tag, roaming charges or the additional 187 pounds.
The initial app release is for BlackBerry, Nokia and all Symbian-based mobile phones and PDAs. ASiQ estimates a target market of approximately 16,000 aircraft are now equipped with satellite link.