“In-Flight Calls!” China Telecom’s Airborne Tech Breakthrough

Making In-Flight Calls is Now Possible with China Telecom’s “Satellite + VoWiFi” Technology

On January 19th, according to the official public account of China Telecom Satellite, a major breakthrough was achieved in the aviation scenario with the joint innovation project “VoWiFi project for in-flight network platform” undergoing topic acceptance in a simulated environment on the ground for Air China.

Based on a simulated environment identical to commercial aircraft, regular mobile terminals in flight mode can authenticate on-board internet, enabling tri-network voice, SMS communication, and video calls. The test results met expectations, providing user experience consistent with ground 5G networks and yielding excellent results.


This signifies a significant technological breakthrough in the innovative application of “Satellite + VoWiFi” technology in aviation scenarios, and marks a crucial step in the application of China Telecom’s “Satellite +” product system to empower various scenarios on land, sea, air, and space.

According to the introduction, aviation VoWiFi, short for Voice over WiFi, refers to using WiFi hotspots provided in the aircraft cabin and international standard software protocols to replace traditional mobile wireless base stations, enabling passengers to experience voice calls and SMS services similar to ground networks following the activation of mobile services.

Currently, civil aviation in China requires passengers to switch their phones to flight mode to ensure flight safety. Although passengers can access the internet through in-flight Wi-Fi networks on planes with internet access, they are unable to make calls or send text messages.

However, aviation VoWiFi can address this communication need for passengers, enabling them to make and receive calls as well as send and receive messages during flights, ultimately extending users’ ground usage habits to the skies at an altitude of thousands of meters.

It is worth noting that this technology does not require airlines to install any additional hardware on the aircraft, nor do passengers need to change phones or download apps. A single system upgrade is all that’s needed, allowing users to directly access aviation VoWiFi services through China Telecom’s 5G package.

Localized by Crikey! Studio

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