Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Zain introduces aircraft roaming service

Global telecommuni-cations operator, Zain Group, has introduced roaming service in aircrafts in Jordan within its Middle East and Africa region.

Zain is the parent company of Celtel Nigeria operates in several other African countries as Celtel. The new technology, installed by AeroMobile, was successfully tried by Zain customers, during the world’s first commercial flight to take place with the new innovative technology. The voyage took place recently between Dubai and Casablanca on Emirates Airlines.

The service will be available soon on aircrafts in Nigeria and eight other operations of Zain including Bahrain , Kuwait , Iraq , Lebanon , Sudan , Tanzania , Kenya , and Uganda to bring the number of countries in which the service is available to 10.

Zain group is a leading mobile telecommunications operator in the Middle East and Africa .

With the new service, Zain will become a market leader and amongst the first few mobile operators in the world to introduce such services to its customers.

“’We are proud to be the first mobile service provider in Jordan to offer our customers such a differentiated service,” said Zain’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Saad Al Barrak, who added that Zain has always been a pioneer in introducing top of the line services in Jordan and across the Middle East.

“With mobile phones becoming an important part of people’s everyday lives, we are delighted to offer our customers the choice of using their own mobile phones to contact friends, family or colleagues during flights and therefore making their lives easier,” he said.

Al Barrak further said that Zain had signed an agreement with AeroMobile early in 2006, having seen the potential of this technology to offer better services to its customers.

“During the initial phase, Zain’s customers in Jordan can now stay connected on board of a number of Emirates flights. The service will be later expanded to include all flights on Emirates as well as other airlines that have partnered with AeroMobile,” added Al Barrak.

Zain in Jordan ‘s International Roaming Manager Mervette Al-Shihabi pointed out that through the partnership with AeroMobile, the telco plans to enhance its international mobile roaming services.

“This follows the successful launch of Zain in Jordan ‘s Marine roaming Services in 2006,” she added.

Zain’s agreement with AeroMobile includes international roaming services for all Zain in Jordan ‘s customers through which they could now enjoy mobile phone services using voice calls as well as Short Messaging Service (SMS) services on board. GPRS, Black Berry Services and Push Mail will be also available to customers in the near future.

AeroMobile completed several months of operational trials in an extensive testing procedure in Australia in 2007. The AeroMobile technology ensures that passengers’ mobile phones operate at their minimum power settings in order to allow secure use and avoid interference with ground telecoms networks.

For appropriate use of mobile phones on board, all airlines will be providing a list of guidelines, which will include a request for passengers to switch their mobile phones to ‘silent’ mode during the flight. Furthermore, the cabin crew will be able to monitor as well as handle full control of how the system will be used throughout the trip. Passengers wanting to use the service during the trip will receive a text message welcoming them to the AeroMobile system as soon as they switch their mobile phones on.

AeroMobile’s Chief Executive Bjorn-Taale Sandberg said: ‘We are delighted to deliver a genuine world first technology through Zain’s network, a mobile operator that is amongst the first in the world to provide such a unique innovative service to its customers. We believe that the ability to communicate efficiently, easily and safely when on board flights will become an every-day feature for business and leisure travellers soon.’

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D