Wish you could call and text people while 30,000+ feet in the air while stuck on an airplane? ASiQ has your solution with a new app being developed caled SafeCell to enable calling and texting all over Bluetooth. ASiQ Limited Australia announced this past Monday the release of the Android version of SafeCell, the world’s most affordable in-flight mobile phone solution for corporate jets.
SafeCell is apatented in-flight mobile phone solution for about $12,500, developed and owned by ASI Entertainment, under license, ASiQ Limited Australia has the exclusive rights to commercialize and develop the SafeCell IP (Internet Protocol) globally.
You’re probably thinking right now that $12,500 for a mobile phone App is expensive and probably a ridiculous price, well think again. Conventional aircraft mobile phone systems can easily cost $500,000. With such a big cut in the price, I’m starting to wonder why no one thought about this alternative in the beginning. The initial base price is around $12,500 but then you will need an additional $10,000 for a dedicated SafeCell SC-AP (SafeCell Access Point) server system from what I’ve read so far, at that point you’re looking between $23,000 and $26,000. With such a much lower price I’m waiting to see who will be the first to get it because I know any corporation would gladly switch over to save around $450,00.
How this new app will work is ASiQ’s new airline system will be licenced by aircraft fleet and the App will be available to passengers for free, which is a relief considering how much they make you pay for Wi-Fi in the terminal and in-flight, but the airline App will be restricted to a data service only. SafeCell’s airline platform will accommodate unlimited mobiles with unlimited texting, texting is all I need to keep me occupied on the 1+ hour(s) flight, via a single channel low cost satellite network. This system will use Bluetooth to connect directly into the existing satellites ground stations, you will be operating outside of the global mobile roaming network, so you don’t have to worry about roaming charges. Now all they need to do is install outlets in the plane so I can charge my mobile device and I’ll be set.
One of the main reasons SafeCell is unique is because it won’t mess with the aircrafts computers, Bluetooth is documented and safe without any restrictions, unlike your regular phone signal. In the USA, 90% of where corporate jets operate, you can’t use a system that requires phone signal, but you can easily use Bluetooth without having to worry about the plane. So if you’re addicted to texting as much as the next person, and you’re like me and you’re a frequent flyer or love to travel, then this is the app to get. I like to keep connected to my social feeds. Ha.
The Android app they are developing sounds like it’s going to be a remake of their Blackberry and Symbian versions, texting and calling at 30,000+ feet sounds like it’s going to be an interesting app just from that alone, but Southwest Airlines supports Wi-Fi on a few of their airplanes. Like most of you, I’m interested to know how big of a speed difference will there be between Southwest Wi-Fi and the SafeCell app, and who will come out on top. Southwests in-flight Wi-Fi has a decent speed, but could be better and I see room for improvement, but Bluetooth is a reliable and very fast way of transferring data. I have high hopes for this app if it comes out on top, and if it does, I would very much like to see it on Southwest flights.
Now this is an Android site, so we won’t be talking about the development for the iPhone, you obviously came here for the Android part, right? Right. Ron stated that the Android app will follow, I’m hoping they’re already in the middle of development of the Android app so it will follow not too long after the release. Now I love Android as much as the next guy, but hearing a company praise Android like that, makes everyone who owns an Android powered phone feel good about their decision in choosing the right phone.
Ron Chapman ASiQ’s CEO stated that “the development of the Android App follows on from our initial Blackberry and Symbian versions. I am very excited about this version and congratulate our developers on how quickly they were able to develop this platform. We now see why Android has gained such a high consumer acceptance. The App is very fast, which means that making a call at 30,000 feet or sending a message is just as simple as if you were using your mobile on the ground.
No matter which satellite system you have onboard, Iridium, Inmarsat or Thuraya, SafeCell connects you and no more roaming charges. From as little as $12,500 for a single channel license, up to $17,500 for a multi channel license, its cheap compared to $350 – $500K for conventional mobile phone technology. Plus you can use SafeCell in the USA and several other countries where conventional mobile phone systems are banned.
The App can be installed on unlimited mobiles at no extra charge however, with a single channel license only one mobile can log on at a time, whereas with a multi channel licence, up to six mobiles can operate simultaneously. We developed the App this way as the majority of smaller jets only have one channel, whereas the bigger jets have broadband and up to six channels.”
Ron stated “the initial App release is for Blackberry, Nokia and all Symbian based mobile phones and PDA’s, Android will follow shortly after. For the Iphone, as it has a very restricted Bluetooth capability we will have to charge an additional configuration fee. Hopefully one day Apple will see the light and provide full open access to Bluetooth. As part of the launch program on orders placed before the 30th January 2011 we will include a brand new mobile phone of choice, a top of the line noise cancelling headset and hands free kit.”
Ron also said, “Our developers are now focusing their attention on the iphone. While it has its own unique set of challenges; it’s more an integration issue rather than reinventing the wheel. This is because the proprietary ASiQ Bluetooth protocol is absolutely unique and has been designed to work with multiple platforms. With the iPhone complete we will have every major platform covered, that you could expect on an airline system.”
SafeCell Bizjets initial target market is around 16,000 corporate aircraft equipped with a satellite link, so more than likely your favorite flight company will be on that list. SafeCell Bizjet is the fore runner of the SafeCell airline platform, which is due for release in 2011, so for you Android users you’re in for wait, hopefully not too long. Considering it’s the worlds most expensive app, the Bluetooth capability of SafeCell can benefit both sides, ASiQ and the Android consumers.