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This article was published on July 8, 2011

    It looks like in-flight data and calls could be coming to Australia at last.

    It looks like in-flight data and calls could be coming to Australia at last.
    Joel Falconer
    Story by

    Joel Falconer

    Joel Falconer is the Features Editor at TNW. He lives on the Gold Coast, Australia with his wife and three kids and can sometimes be found g Joel Falconer is the Features Editor at TNW. He lives on the Gold Coast, Australia with his wife and three kids and can sometimes be found gaming or consulting. Follow Joel on Twitter.

    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.