Satcom Direct’s GlobalVT app, which works with the Satcom Direct Router (SDR), is now available for bizjet passengers using Android devices.
Android accounts for about 79 percent of the worldwide market share for smartphones with around 1.53 billion in use.
GlobalVT enables passengers to use their own mobile (cellphone) number on their smartphone while in-flight, anywhere in the world. The service acts like a global cellular roaming service, routeing all calls and texts to a passenger’s smartphone number via a satellite connection.
All passengers need to do is download and install the app to enable the service. They then switch their phone to inflight mode and enable a Wi-Fi connection to the onboard Satcom Direct SDR router.
The GlobalVT app allows users to use their own contacts and caller ID. All outgoing calls will correctly show your number as the originator, which increases the chance of it being answered. Incoming calls also correctly display the number of the person calling you.
The mobile app is available on Google Play and on the App Store.
Sanaa Sadaani, Satcom Direct’s head of training, said that the system will work with ViaSat Ku-band systems and Inmarsat SwiftBroadband (SBB).
“The call quality is excellent,” said Sadaani. “Before this you would have needed the phone number of the aircraft and know that the person you are calling is actually onboard.
“And with outgoing calls there is no “+87” or other strange number displayed when you call, so your recipient is more likely to answer it.”
The Apple iOS app has been ready for some time and the launch of the Android app means that even more smartphone users can take advantage of GlobalVT. A Windows Phone app is also in the pipeline and Blackberry compatibility is being looked at.