Kolbinger said he doesn't expect to see a commercial in-flight mobile phone service launched based on the group's research before the end of 2005. "There's still plenty of development work to be done," he said.
That timeline, of course, will hinge on whether both the GSM and CDMA technology groups convince the FAA and FCC to soften their stance against mobile phones in flight.
Should the agencies give the green light, the market for in-flight mobile phone service could boom, according to Emma McClune, wireless analyst with Current Analysis Inc. "There's definitely a business," she said. "Airlines have a very captive audience. Many of their passengers will want to use the time to make calls and check e-mail."
They may, indeed, provided, of course, their phones are compatible with the airline's choice of wireless technology.