Aircell unveils Android phone for in-flight calling

The company that operates the GoGo in-flight Internet service has introduced an Android smartphone that will let business travelers place calls while in the air.

Kent German Former senior managing editor / features
Kent was a senior managing editor at CNET News. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he reviewed the first iPhone and worked in both the London and San Francisco offices. When not working, he's planning his next vacation, walking his dog or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).
Kent German
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We missed this last week while we were at CTIA, but Aircell announced a new smartphone for making that all-important call from 35,000 feet.

The Aircell Smartphone (catchy name, eh?) will allow air travelers on private business jets to make and receive calls just as they would while on the ground. It will be compatible with Aircell's forthcoming GoGo Biz service, which will supply in-flight Internet access and voice call service for corporate aircraft customers. Though the handset won't be available to airline passengers anytime soon (and hopefully never), Aircell also operates the GoGo in-flight Wi-Fi service that many commercial airlines currently employ.

The Android-powered Aircell Smartphone will offer Bluetooth, a wired headset jack, an alphanumeric physical keypad, and a 3.8-inch color touch screen. The design looks pretty standard, though in its press release Aircell notes that the device "exceeds the size of most consumer smartphones on the market today."

Full availability is planned for late this year, with pricing details also to come. The company unveiled the Aircell Smartphone at the 2011 Aircraft Electronics Association trade show in Reno, Nev.