Like in the United States, Australia has always prohibited in-flight phone use, but that changed last July when the Australian Communications and Media Authority cleared airlines to allow flyers to use their phones on aircraft.
Flightglobal reports that Virgin Australia has fitted its most recent craft with AeroMobile connectivity suites that allow voice calls, SMS and 3G data in the air. Currently, the airline is using these units for crew communications, but it’s said that these units will be switched on for consumers soon after a delayed launch earlier this year.
It’s no surprise that Virgin is the first to jump on board in-air connectivity in Australia. They were the market leaders in bringing Wi-Fi to flights a few years ago in other countries.
While Australian regulators have beaten the United States to clearing in-flight phone usage, Americans have enjoyed Wi-Fi on aircraft for quite some time — something still uncommon in Australia.