[WORLDKINGS] On this day - February 14, 2023 – The 34th anniversary of the launch of Skyphone, the world's first satellite phone service (1989)


(Worldkings.org) The world's first satellite telephone communications system for airline passengers, Skyphone, had its commercial debut on a British Airways 747 on February 14. 1989.

Skyphone was operated by a consortium consisting of British Telecom, Singapore Telecom, and Norweigan Telecom. Using digital satellite technology giving high quality links and security, Skyphone provided air-to-ground, ground-to-air, and even air-to-air telephone communications.

On 14 February 1989, British Airways launched the world's first satellite telephone service for airline passengers on a six-month trial with British Telecom and the British electronics group Racal.


The system uses three over-ocean satellites (one positioned over the Atlantic, another over the Indian and a third over the Pacific) to give the airline worldwide coverage. The cost: $9.50 a minute. (British Telecom charges British Airways $6.70 a minute.)

The airline introduced Skyphone on a Boeing 747 bound to New York from London in which four wall-mounted call boxes with cordless telephones have been installed. Officials said that in the future, airline passengers are likely to have sets installed on armrests or the backs of seats.


'This marks the beginning of a new era in communications for airline passengers and aircraft operations the world over,' said Olof Lundberg, director of the Inmarsat commercial satellite group, a cooperative of 55 nations.


According to upi.com & britishtelephones.com

Kyna ( Collect) - WORLDKINGS (Source of photos: Internet)


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