Business VoIP Featured Article

UK Airports Consider In-flight VoIP

March 17, 2014

By Daniel Brecht, Contributing Writer

VoIP is a solution that works for businesses of all sizes and industries, able to help improve the user experience and increase efficiency with easy-to-use IP communications services that integrate voice and data into one network. The Voice over IP (VoIP) method offers a flexible and scalable option that has the ability to grow with a business as it evolves.

When it comes to communications and information technology in the air for those traveling on business, such a service can be instrumental in maintaining consistency with clients and coworkers on the go. Nowadays, more investments are being made in IT infrastructures by airports, to include virtualization and VoIP technology for the smooth running of operations both airside and landside. In airports, it can improve operational efficiency and utilization of resources while helping also to communicate flight information and operational updates to passengers to improve their experience.

Thanks to business VoIP, clients will have the ability to make and receive free or cheap VoIP-rate phone calls at the airport or while in flight. Some Internet airline providers are already using VoIP services, which leverage in flight Wi-Fi connections. Meanwhile, others airlines are considering such a service and have begun to enact policies outlining when it is and is not appropriate to allow users to make or receive VoIP calls during a flight.

Last month, George Best Belfast City Airport, a regional airport serving a range of destinations throughout the U.K. and Ireland, and which is Northern Ireland’s sole link with London Heathrow, replaced its existing premises-based phone system to meet an airport necessity: to deploy business VoIP, and cloud-based unified communications services. This is an example of an airport that is open to the possibility of being able to use VoIP at high altitude, which is important to provide the very best in-air travel experience.

Image via Shutterstock

A recent Telappliant post reported that “deployment of the VoIP platform onboard flights would be a significant advantage for the company, which would help it to attract customers away from rivals which do not offer a similar service,” which was explained Daisy Group plc. in the post. The fact is that passengers will seek to use this type of service in-flight. Also air links like VoIP offer a cheap phone service that would give passengers, while in the air, the ability to be connected to the in-flight Wi-Fi that comes available as part of its entertainment services, rather than needing to switch their mobile device to “flight mode”. 

In sum, mobile VoIP in-flight would provide the surge of passengers that pass through U.K. airports and something to look forward to the next time they fly. As to whether or not other airports and planes will follow suite, the fact remains that there are still some airlines divided over in-flight VoIP usage, with concerns ranging from fear that callers could be disturbing other passengers, to the belief that it is important to enforce the ban on voice calls in the air. 

Edited by Alisen Downey

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