updated 6/13/2005 9:49:35 PM ET 2005-06-14T01:49:35

Wireless equipment maker LM Ericsson introduced a new base station Monday that would let air travelers use their mobile phones during flights.

The technology focuses on GSM, the most common mobile standard in Europe and much of the world. A base station on board the plane would transfer the cell phone signal to a satellite to connect the user's call.

"We see that consumers expect to be able to use their mobile phones regardless of where they are," Ericsson spokesman Peter Olofsson said. "We now make it possible to call when you are on an airplane for a couple of hours."

He said the calls would not interfere with the plane's electronic systems.

Ericsson said the price of a base station would vary, but would be roughly 1 million kronor (euro108,000; US$131,000) per plane. It expects to launch the service in 2006.

Stockholm-based Ericsson is the world's largest supplier of telecom equipment.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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