Turkish Airlines is to introduce new in-flight connectivity via Panasonic’s eXPhone service, allowing internet access via passengers’ mobile smartphones.
As an extension of existing Wi-Fi and live TV availability on its Boeing B777 and Airbus A330 aircraft, Turkish Airlines will offer mobile internet connectivity via eXPhone to its guests by April 2017.
By using this service, passengers will be able to send text messages (excluding voice messages), check their e-mails and browse the internet (including social media platforms) with their own mobile phones.
This goes some why to circumventing the current US travel ban on passengers carrying laptops and tablets into the aircraft cabin. Mobile smartphones are still allowed and could be used either via the aircraft’s Wi-Fi or by its cellular connection to the aircraft’s picocell.
Turkish currently flies to a range of US destinations and the eXPhone service will allow passengers to send and receive emails, plus surf the internet, via their mobile smart phones, which are still allowed on board.
Turkish says the cabin crew will make an announcement to inform passengers about the eXPhone service’s current availability for on-board use after take-off.
Provided that the “data roaming” mode is activated on their mobile phones, the service will automatically run, which can then be used until the flight is ready to land.
The eXPhone service will be billed by the passengers’ mobile phone operators, and the prices will vary depending on their individual roaming contracts.