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Plane-based mobile usage takes off

Interesting to read that Air France has now officially launched its in-plane cellular service (opens in new tab), allowing travellers to use their mobile phones to exchange emails, text messages and carry out basic Web surfing on their handsets, when above 10,000 feet in the air on the airline's planes.

The problem is, whilst voice calls are currently forbidden, who will prosecute cases of fraud or harassment when the plane is in international air space?

For example, if I use my mobile phone to harass someone on the plane, which jurisdiction will prosecute?

This issue hasn't gone unnoticed in the French press, which says that travellers on the Airbus A318s are only using the service for in-flight texting and the like, although Air France has put a positive spin on the trial of its new service, which it claims is "revolutionary."

Coming from the French national airline, I find the use of that word quite amusing -Ed

The Mobile OnAir (opens in new tab)onboard mobile telephony system, as it is known, has been certified by EASA (the European Aviation Safety Authority) as not interfering with Airbus A318 (opens in new tab) instruments, providing the phones are not switched on below 10,000 feet.

No mention of how much this brave new communicattions medium will cost on board an Air France aircraft of course. With a bit of luck, it should prove to be so expensive that people won't use it...