Alfa’s Subscribers communicate at a “Higher Altitude”

Published April 25th, 2010 - 09:23 GMT

Setting the telecom sector in Lebanon at higher level, and in line with its strategy to add advanced and technological innovations to the industry, Alfa, the first mobile operator managed by Orascom Telecom since February 2009, breaks new ground by introducing the new “Roaming Onboard” service. Alfa is one of the few mobile companies in the MENA region to provide this revolutionary service that allows its customer, both postpaid (Roaming) and prepaid lines (Roam in), to make and receive calls as well as to send and receive SMS while travelling on board of aircrafts without any additional subscription or activation fees.
As part of its expansion plan, Alfa launched the new service in collaboration with two leading mobile network operators, enabling its customers to stay connected when they fly, specialized in providing secured in-flight GSM services: OnAir and Aero Mobile. Using OnAir’s services, Alfa’s roaming subscribers will enjoy Onboard Roaming services on leading international flights including Qatar Airways, TAP, Ryanair, Wataniya Airways, Royal Jordanian Airlines, and British Airways.  However, through AeroMobile’s services, Alfa’s roaming subscribers, using Emirates and Malaysian Airlines over many destinations, will also benefit from this cutting-edge service.
At a later stage, other airlines signing similar agreements with “AeroMobile” and “On Air” would be able to offer this value-added service to their passengers.
Commenting on the launch, Mr. Marwan Hayek, Alfa’s Chairman and CEO said: “The Roaming Onboard service is a major breakthrough in the field of Communication Technology.” Hayek added "We believe that the ability for our customers to communicate efficiently, easily and safely during flights will soon become an every-day necessity of business and leisure travel". Hayek concluded: “We believe that it is our duty, as a leading telecom provider and part of the Orascom Telecom Group, to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in the Telecom sector, to facilitate our customers’ lives and to enhance the mobile telecom sector in Lebanon".
AeroMobile’s CEO Bjorn-Taale Sandberg said: “We are very pleased to be offering inflight mobile communications to Alfa’s customers. Over 1.5 million people have already used our system on Emirates and Malaysian Airlines flights with overwhelmingly positive feedback.”
“We are very happy that Alfa’s customers will be able to use their mobile phones including BlackBerry®-type devices in exactly the same way as they do on the ground,” said Asbjorn Christoffersen, Head of Regulatory in OnAir.

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