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Also on This Day: 1779: Captain James Cook was murdered by natives in what is today Hawaii; 1852: London children's hospital in Great Ormond Street accepted its first patient;1929: The St Valentine's Day Massacre took place in Chicago;1946: The Bank of England was nationalised; 1989: Skyphone, the world's first satellite telephone service, was launched on the British Airways flight from London to New York.
Following a competitive tendering exercise, British Airways has agreed to extend and expand its contract with BT Aeronautical for the provision of its Skyphone satellite communications for passenger and operations use for the next three years.
The Skyphone service provides BA passengers with global voice telephony and round-the-clock free access to customer service agents on the ground.
By choosing to remain with Skyphone, British Airways is now able to offer the latest Skyphone Mobile Connect service to its passengers.
Passengers can access a high speed internet connection from the seat (the skyphone link, or from the seatback interactive video).
E-mail facilities will be made possible through the use of the BT SkyPhone network and ground-based interconnection systems.
Nasdaq: ELMG), a leading provider of wireless and satellite communications solutions, has announced an agreement with British Telecommunications plc (BT), to develop the airborne satellite communications hardware for BT's high-speed airborne Internet service, Skyphone IP.
At 64 Kbs, Skyphone IP will enable passengers to access the Web, e-mail and company intranets, together with future IP-based services.
Mobile communications made further progress in 1962, when the Bell System inaugurated Skyphone air-to-ground service on selected TWA flights.
AirView system hardware will be supplied by TNCi while British Telecom Skyphone will provide satcom service.
Claircom International/AT&T Wireless has partnered with several satellite service providers, including Skyphone, a consortium headed by British Telecom; Satellite AIRCOM, a consortium including SITA and COMSAT; and the airlines to provide calling capability for those flying outside North America.
It has pioneered product features such as movie screening in economy, a wide range in music, flat beds, lounges at airports, skyphones, limo transfers for business and first-class passengers, early use of technologies such as mobile check-ins, etc.