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Air France in-flight calling tests begin: not so great

Nilay Patel

That Air France in-flight calling trial is now well underway, and it looks like there's still some kinks left to iron out. The New York Times hitched a ride on a recent flight featuring tests of the system, and found that things weren't quite working up to snuff: voice quality was said to be like "talking to a small robot," only six passengers could get a signal at a time, Blackberry email didn't work, and calls placed from the ground to cell phones in the air went straight to voicemail. That's a pretty long list for a system that's been talked about for a couple years now -- let's hope OnAir manages to clear up some of these glitches before angry passengers revolt over not only having to listen to other people's conversations, but also their screaming over bad connections.

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