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US taking victims of ‘Havana syndrome’ seriously
United Arab Emirates Created: 10 Mar 2022
The US investigation into mysterious symptoms known as the “Havana syndrome” could provide Americans with long-overdue insights into the emerging threats of directed-energy devices.

Hundreds of US government personnel — mostly spies and diplomats abroad — have reported piercing pain, unexplained sounds, vertigo, vision loss, memory loss, insomnia and signs of brain damage since 2016, when dozens were afflicted in Cuba.

Later incidents were reported in China, Russia, Colombia, Austria, Uzbekistan, the United Kingdom, Poland and other countries. While some theories blamed mass hysteria and even crickets, a rise in high-profile cases — including in and around the White House — compelled US officials to seriously consider a more nefarious and disturbing explanation: unseen electromagnetic weapons.

The official term for this syndrome is “anomalous health incidents.” A State Department spokesperson told me that “to date, no study, report or analysis has provided a categorical, comprehensive explanation.”

Earlier this month, a Biden administration expert panel rejected the idea that “psychosocial factors alone” explained symptoms. “Pulsed electromagnetic energy, particularly in the radiofrequency range, plausibly explains the core characteristics, although information gaps exist,” it stated. Its report reaffirmed a 2020 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine theory citing “directed, pulsed radio frequency (RF) energy.”

In October, President Joe Biden signed into law the bipartisan “Helping American Victims Afflicted by Neurological Attacks Act,” to provide care and compensation to government employees with symptoms. An official with the House Intelligence Committee chaired by Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-California, told me the committee is “closely overseeing implementation of the HAVANA Act to ensure that all personnel receive the benefits and assistance they need.”

It may sound like science fiction, like the military’s UFO probe. But it wouldn’t be the first time US personnel were zapped by electromagnetic weapons. Between the 1950s and 1970s, the Soviets bombarded the US Embassy in Moscow with microwave radiation, prompting health concerns and this country’s then-classified exploration of such weaponry.

After the Cold War, debates about the technology’s dangers became the near-exclusive realm of people ridiculed as tin-hat conspiracy theorists. In 2001, then-Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, introduced legislation to ban the weaponization of “radiation, electromagnetic” or other energies against people, but it was dropped following media derision. Meanwhile, the US military continued developing such weapons, including the Active Denial System, or “Pain Ray.”

The US has been slow to respond to reported attacks against government personnel that many attribute to Russia. In January, a CIA report dismissed all but a couple dozen reports as having mundane explanations such as stress. But in a CBS “60 Minutes” report, “Targeting Americans,” which aired recently, CIA Director William Burns, whose colleague reported symptoms in India last fall, said he was taking reports seriously.

Watching this documentary, I thought about the thousands of private citizens who call themselves “targeted individuals” who’ve reported similar experiences, including perceived attacks by remote-controlled weapons causing long-term illness. They have been sounding the alarm for years about possible electromagnetic weaponry deployment on US soil, but they’ve been derided as delusional. Among them is my father.

A Mexican immigrant who worked in shipbuilding in San Diego before he was laid off, he believes the CIA experimented on him with electromagnetic weapons that caused him to collapse in pain and develop insomnia, among other things.

In his telling, which he’s never been able to prove, the CIA was testing the weapons’ ability to dramatically alter behavior — by targeting drug addicts with electronic intervention. (My father was using crack cocaine, and quit because of this perceived intervention.) Since telling his story in my memoir, I’ve received dozens of emails from others who claim they’re victims of similar electronic torture.

Investigations into the cause or causes of the “Havana syndrome” could offer some answers for these people, too. Of course, many are deeply skeptical of the CIA’s ability to uncover the truth given its history of secret psychological torture experiments targeting marginalized people starting in the 1950s.

The White House has not said whether the investigation would include cases involving private citizens. The victims’ legislation applies only to government personnel and their families. But Miles Taylor, a former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff in the Trump administration — who revealed his personal experiences of “Havana syndrome” symptoms in the “60 Minutes” report — told me he believes some testimony from private citizens is worthy of investigation, too.

“Authoritarian nation-states will go after their enemies regardless of whether they wear a government badge or not,” he said. “If these attacks are indeed being perpetrated by a nation like Russia, it wouldn’t surprise me if private citizens in certain capacities would be targeted for reasons that would advance the Kremlin’s agenda.”

Taylor hopes his “60 Minutes” testimony will encourage other victims to report. Many stay silent for fear of being perceived as mentally unstable. Since the report aired, he’s been contacted by multiple intelligence leaders and others with similar experiences. “I think we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg,” he told me.

The investigation includes the State Department, the CIA and the departments of Homeland Security, Defense and Justice. They have until Friday to update their guidance for personnel. Earlier this month, Biden named the National Security Council’s senior director for intelligence programs, Maher Bitar, as interagency coordinator. But it’s not enough.

Mark Zaid, an attorney who has represented numerous government victims dating back to the 1990s, criticized the response as “completely disorganized and non-uniform.”

Zaid worries the legislation will be implemented unfairly, leaving people out. Olivia Troye, former Vice President Mike Pence’s homeland security and counterterrorism advisor — who also spoke to “60 Minutes” about her experience with the syndrome — shared similar concerns with me.

The Biden administration should create a centralized location for reporting cases, including by private citizens. The US can’t appropriately compensate victims without understanding the syndrome’s causes. That’s why investigators should scrutinize the United States’ own potential abuse of such technology, and collect testimony outside of US government personnel. Private citizens who’ve been reporting similar attacks since at least the early 2000s deserve to be heard.

Most of their claims may be baseless. But the health problems reported by high-ranking officials with no history of mental illness offer evidence that we should not categorically dismiss them.
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Source: Gulf Today, Jean Guerrero, 28 Feb 2022

Are you losing sleep over your smartphone?
United Arab Emirates Created: 30 May 2015
Radiation emitted from devices, especially 3G and 4G-enabled ones, disrupts body’s ability to heal.

Dubai: While convenient, keeping your mobile phone at arm’s length when one is sleeping has proven to affect quality of sleep, and even health.

Research conducted by several universities and doctors has shown that radiation emitted from mobile phones, especially 3G and 4G-enabled smartphones, delays and disrupts sleep.

Dr Saeed Taghizadeh, specialist neurologist at Prime Hospital, pointed out that electromagnetic radiation emitted by mobile phones also interferes with the body’s ability to heal.

He referred to research led by by Professor Bengt Arnetz, a Swedish professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which found that using a handset right before bed prolongs the amount of time it takes for people to reach a deep state of sleep.

“Anything that disrupts the quality of our sleep impacts our attentiveness and irritability in the short and long term.”

While productive sleep helps our bodies recover form the stresses of the day, the affects of being exposed to cell phone radiation through out the night is more likely to be evident in children and adolescents.

Dr Taghizadeh explained that sleeping beside a phone is especially bad for children and teenagers who typically need more sleep than adults.

“It can cause mood and personality changes such as [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] ADHD-like symptoms and depression.”

Dr Fatima Nazir, general practitioner at Gardens Speciality Clinic, told Gulf News that experts are concerned about the effects of the radiation, as some research suggests that sleeping with your mobile by your bedside can cause dizziness and headaches, and can even trigger insomnia and other sleeping disorders.

“At the very least it makes us hyper vigilant so our sleep is more likely to be disturbed and we don’t get enough of the restorative sleep we need,” said Dr Nazir.

What happens when you sleep?

The hormone cortisol that signals us to wake up, and the hormone melatonin, which makes us sleepy are controlled by the light-sensitive cells in the brain.

“Light stimulates cells in the retina, the area at the back of the eye that transmits messages to the brain, and the light-sensitive cells inform the body what time it is,” explained Dr Fatima. When sleeping beside a mobile phone or tablet, the blue light emitted from the device has a stimulating effect. The cells in the retina are most sensitive to blue light because of a pigment called melanopsin, which is why reading on a phone or a tablet before bed is more likely to keep a person awake than reading a book using a bedside light.

“For this reason, experts advise a ban on screen time two to three hours before bed,” said Dr Fatima.

With smart phones replacing most traditional devices such as alarm clocks and flash lights, sleeping with your phone in the next room can be a big inconvenience.

However, it can be the solution for a good night’s sleep.
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Source: Gulf News, Jumana Khamis, 29 May 2015

Fears over mobile phone mast metres from homes prompts petition
United Arab Emirates Created: 12 May 2010
Residents of a villa community on the outskirts of Dubai have petitioned against a mobile phone mast that is being built just metres from their homes.

Foundations for an Etisalat transmission tower are being laid over what was once a small children’s park in the Cedre Villa community of the Government-owned Dubai Silicon Oasis.

Concerned that it will be an eyesore and a potential health hazard, 99 local residents sent a petition to the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), which oversees the free zone. They demanded a halt to the project, warning that otherwise many of them will not renew their leases.

The petition claims the mast “will be very dangerous to the health of everybody”, adding that it “is clear to everybody that this kind of antenna can be responsible for cancer, especially [in] children”.

Some studies have shown that people living near mobile phone masts suffer ailments including nausea, loss of appetite and a greater tendency to depression.

Dr Aladdin Maarraoui, an oncologist at Mafraq Hospital, said little is known about the health effects of mobile phone towers. The World Health Organisation said more research is needed.

The DSOA said municipality inspectors had ruled that the tower was 250 metres from the main children’s playground at Cedre Villas. However, several villas are much closer. “This thing will be about 15 metres across from the driveway,” said an American resident.

“The kids have been playing in the park for the past few months. Put the thing outside the development. Don’t put it in the park, right smack bang in the middle of everything.”

The man, a pilot for Emirates Airline, said he would move his family back to the United States if the tower was erected.

“I have a 10-year-old and a seven-year-old. I’m not willing to risk a disease because of this thing.

“My wife is going to take them back home, and I’m going to follow. The airline industry is turning around in the States, and I’ll just apply for a job there.”

Chrissie Surin, 41, a British primary school teacher who lives in an adjacent villa, said: “It’s only about 20 metres away from where I park the car.” She said construction on the tower began as soon as most of the residents in the area had paid their landscaping fees – typically around Dh10,000 per villa.

“They’ve waited for every house to do their gardens and everything, and then they do this. My husband has asked for us to be moved to another location and for them [Dubai Silicon Oasis] to reimburse us our landscaping as well.” She said that the DSOA had not responded to their request, made in late April.

Asked to clarify its position about the location of the tower, an official at the DSOA did not comment further. Residents accused the authority of ignoring their concerns.

This month, slogans protesting against the tower were spray-painted on the white construction barriers around the site. One addressed to Dubai Silicon Oasis read: “DSO! Please don’t give away our park for a harmful cell phone tower.” It was painted over by construction workers the following day.

Another Emirates pilot from the US said the petitioners had attempted to contact the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) and Etisalat about their concerns. The names of both entities, as well as the Government of Dubai, are listed on construction documents at the building site.

He said a TRA official “told us that this would never be allowed outside in any of the public areas of Dubai where the TRA is giving authorisation for these towers to be built”.

He added: “But because we are in a free zone, he told us it doesn’t really fall under their jurisdiction because it’s owned by Silicon Oasis.”

TRA officials did not respond to inquiries. Ahmed bin Ali, an Etisalat spokesman, said: “Whatever we build, if it’s a base station, we have to get the necessary approvals, including from the TRA.”
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Source: The National, Hugh Naylor, 11 May 2010

Doctor calls in warning
United Arab Emirates Created: 8 Nov 2009
Millions of mobile phone users in the UAE could be at risk of developing brain tumours, according to a leading expert on electromagnetic radiation, who will release his findings in Dubai today.

Dr Howard Fisher, who has conducted dozens of studies and written three books on the subject, says there is a definite link between prolonged mobile phone use and health problems such as brain cancer and low fertility.

He says there is a growing acceptance of the danger of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) in other countries and says he hopes to raise awareness among the 7.2 million mobile users here.

“September 2009 saw the US Senate host a major conference on the subject whilst the French government is stepping up its efforts to limit the use of cell phones by children,” said Fisher.

He says doctors are currently in a difficult position when it comes to convincing the mobile phone industry and governments to act, because although there is some proof of a link between usage and health risks, experts have so far been unable to say exactly what causes that link.

“We are not sure whether it is the cell phone itself, the carrier [network provider] we have, the information we are receiving through the phone or a combination of all three,” Fisher, who will be presenting his body of work to the Dubai Congress on Anti-Aging and Aesthetic Medicine, explains.

His studies have included examination and observation of patients who have a history of prolonged mobile phone use, as well as laboratory tests.

One of his most significant findings came from a simple experiment that involved three samples of brain cells.

The first sample was left alone, the second had a mobile phone attached to it for one hour and the third was exposed to a mobile phone fitted with a radiation guard.

Fisher said: “We talked to two of the samples for 60 minutes. In the first, without the intervention device, we saw a 10.71 per cent decrease in the growth of the cells. This is no longer a myth.”
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Source: 7Days, 08 Nov 2009

Ruler talks are sought
United Arab Emirates Created: 7 Apr 2008
Concerned parents at Dubai British School in The Springs said yesterday they are going to approach Sheikh Mohammed’s office in a bid to have an unwanted mobile phone mast removed from next to their childrens’ playground.

“We want to submit a petition to the ruler telling him in detail about the concerns raised by the parents,” said one worried mother. “We are not going to keep quiet until the mast is removed… School premises are certainly not the place to have a mast,” she added.
But telecommunications company du said there was nothing to worry about. “The mast has not been activated. However, we are in consultations with the school management to find a solution to the problem,” du said in a statement.
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Source: 7Days, 07 Apr 2008

Mast may move on
United Arab Emirates Created: 24 Mar 2008
Parents and teachers who want a mobile phone mast removed from beside Dubai British School in The Springs are hopeful of achieving their goal after du’s management visited the site. School principal Peter Moore met the telecommunications company’s representatives on Wednesday and said they assured him they would move the mast, which is disguised as a palm tree if they were provided with a suitable alternative by property developer Emaar.children.jpg
“We are optimistic that the mast will be relocated. The talks with du have been good and they are ready to shift if Emaar will give them permission to install the mobile mast at an alternative location,” Moore said. “Our concern is that the mast is directly above an area where 130 children spend 30 hours a week. Most of the children are young and parents are worried about the affects of radio waves on the health of their children.”
A concerned parent, whose son studies at the school, said: “It’s good that du is taking the issue seriously and is holding discussions. We hope the mast will be removed as soon as possible.”
A source at du said the company fully understood the anxieties of the parents, adding that they were looking at possible alternatives. “We are holding discussions with the school at the moment and we are hopeful of finding a solution to the problem,” he said.

Last week, one concerned parent started an online petition to remove the mast, and thousands of people signed up. Studies have shown significant health effects on people living within 300 metres of mobile phone base stations due to radio wave emissions.
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Source: 7Days, 21 Mar 2008

Petition wants mast out
United Arab Emirates Created: 18 Mar 2008
An online campaign to remove a mobile mast from close to a Dubai school is gaining momentum, with more than 1,000 people already signing up. 7DAYS reported last week that parents and teachers at Dubai British School in The Springs were worried about the childrens’ health due to the proximity of the mast.

Some studies have pointed to the ill-health implications that these base stations can have, with some showing increases in cancer for people who live close to them. And this week, a British woman named Mati, who is believed to have a child at the school, launched the campaign to get the mast, which
is disguised as a palm tree, removed. The site has been inundated with posts from concerned residents who feel the mast, which is run by telecoms company du, could make people ill.
“I feel that they have to put them somewhere else. I’m sure there are better places to shove them and protect the health of children,” said one poster, who identified themselves as beniegenie. Another wrote: “The mast is in the Spinneys car park just overlooking the school. We would like everyone to help us make du move the mobile mast from the school for the health of our children and the children and families who live (here).”
Peter Moore, head teacher at Dubai British School, said he was extremely worried about his pupil’s health as well. “I am worried about the long-term affects of the radiowaves on the children… I feel that the base station should be removed immediately.”
Meanwhile, posters have questioned why the mast was put next to the school in the first place. “Why was the mast erected without the schools knowledge? What do we understand about these masts? What research has been done? du has a responsibility to answer these questions,” said one worried mother.
A spokesman for du said yesterday that the company’s CEO had tried to contact Moore and would be personally visiting the school to discuss the matter further.
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Source: 7DAYS, Fareed Rahman, 14 Mar 2008

Health scare over mobile phone masts
United Arab Emirates Created: 12 Aug 2007
Dubai: Residents living near mobile phone transmission masts have voiced their concerns over the possible health risks because of the proximity of their homes to the base stations.

There is an ongoing debate on the effect of masts if placed in residential communities, and opinion is divided.

Assaheh Asvedi, an Iranian housewife who lives across the street of a mast in Jumeirah, says health risks have always been a worry since the mast was erected three years ago.

"I am always worried that my family's health is being affected by the radiations, but the real problem is that we do not really know if there is a real risk or not," she said. "Now there is a school being built."

Ahmad, a UAE national student who also lives near a mast in Jumeirah, says he is worried as he keeps hearing more theories about the dangerous radiations.

"I think the authorities should conduct serious investigations on the risks of the raditaions and their effect on people. We have the right to know what effects these towers have on the community," he said. "But to be fair, I have been living near a mast for three years, and I have not had any related health issues."

An Indian marketing executive says he is convinced that there is a direct link between a mobile mast and cancer. "The problem is that mobile phones have become an integral part of our lives and we just cannot let go them it," he said.

However, Kelvin, a British accountant who lives 20 metres away from a mobile mast, said: "If I do not mind using the mobile phone more than 20 times a day then I am sure that the radiations ... should not be a problem."
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Source: Gulf News, Wafa Issa, 09 Aug 2007

Experts investigate dangers
United Arab Emirates Created: 10 Aug 2007
Our comment: In this article Dr Mike Clarke of UK HPA demonstrates how he just doesn't understand the concept of how different radio frequencies and modulations affect health - and the age old trick of comparing TV transmitters to mobile phone masts is evoked.

Dubai: Though there is no concrete evidence of health risks related to mobile phone masts, experts continue to investigate.

Michael Clark of the National Radiological Protection Board, UK, told Gulf News in a phone interview that there is no hard evidence that phone masts located in residential areas affect health.

Clark and Sir William Stewart, Chairman of the Health Protection Agency and Chairman of the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones and Health, were asked by the UK government to undertake research on the health effects caused by mobile phone masts due to public concern.

Paradox of concern

"There are no health risks involved with mobile phone masts. There is a big study at the moment regarding health risks from mobile phones, however phone masts show nothing cancerous or medically risky," said Clark.

Clark described the topic as a "paradox of concern" since from a scientific sense holding the phone close to ones ear is far more harmful than a mast. He believes the whole phone mast issue is psychological since radio waves have existed for hundreds of years whereas mobile phones are in comparison, a new invention.

"You obviously need networks, thus phone masts are necessary if you have a mobile phone. Phones are generally new and people are still alarmed with the idea of holding a transmitter close to the head, which they should be. However phone masts are not a concern," he said.

However, experts in the UAE show a concern regarding mobile phones and masts. Najam Ali Mirza at the Shaikh Hamdan Award for Medical Sciences in Dubai, believes that "scientific evidence" regarding mobile phones or masts doesn't prove anything, as most real research carried out is done by the industry itself. "Some of us can actually feel pain even when putting mobiles to our ear, let alone next to a mast. If they're perfectly safe, how come mobile companies also sell us "radiation guards," said Mirza.

Arguments for and against exposure

* There is no known risk from being near a phone mast. Radio waves have been around for 100 years or more, and the power of signals from TV stations and radio stations broadcasting thousands of watts is two or three orders of magnitude higher than the 100W limit of a modern mobile phone mast - but TV signals don't harm people.

* The risk from using mobile phones could be higher, because the amount of radio signal you're exposed to from a phone right next to your head is much higher than from a mast down the road.

* Since children have smaller heads and thinner skulls than adults, it is conceivable that they are more vulnerable to the heating effect of mobile phones, and therefore, a sensible parent will try to limit their exposure.

* Campaigners claim that the pulsing waves from the masts interfere with electrical signals in the body, damaging the immune system. Especially significant among children, since they have thinner skulls that are still forming and tests have shown they absorb more radiation than adults.
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Source: GulfNews, Dina El Shammaa, 09 Aug 2007, w. comment by H.Eiriksson,

Will their planes fly empty, but for a few "Wireless Must Have, Wifes"?
United Arab Emirates Created: 10 Nov 2006
One of the last bastions of sanctuary from the bleeping mobile phone has finally crumbled.
Air passengers will now be able to safely use their handsets on flights thanks to a deal announced by Emirates.
The Dubai-based airline, whose flights includes services between London and Dubai, is introducing the technology across its entire fleet from early January.
It has pipped rivals - including Air France and Ryanair - who are also planning to allow mobile phones in flight, though British Airways is so far resisting the trend.
It means millions of passengers who found flying a welcome relief from the office or family calls will now have to contend with the inevitable in-flight chorus of: 'I'm on the plane.'
But it will be a welcome boon to workaholics who suffer withdrawal symptoms every second they are deprived of their mobile phone connection or their lap-tops.
Under the deal with telecoms company AeroMobile, Emirates will introduce the new facility from January 2007, starting with a Boeing 777.
It is promising calls from personal mobile phones for around £2 a minute - cheaper than the cost from on-board phones which start at around £3 a minute but an be much higher.
Phones may only be used at cruise altitude above 20,000ft - not during take-offs, landing and during climbs or descents.
Flight crews will ensure that phones are switched to text-only mode to prevent noise on overnight flights. The system can block voice calls at certain times.
Passengers will be instructed and encouraged to switch phones to silent or vibrate-mode at all times throughout the flight. Up to five calls may be made on any one plane at any time.
Passengers can send and receive text messages.
It said charges would be 'in line with international roaming rates.' It said operating the system at 'affordable rates' would mean it would be well used.
Emirates plans during 2007 to add internet and other satellite capabilities to allow passengers to use popular BlackBerrys - nicknamed 'crack-berrys' by users because of their addictive nature - Palm Pilots and lap-tops.
An Emirates spokesman said:'We want to ensure that passengers who wish to communicate can do so conveniently and discreetly while preserving the privacy of fellow travellers.'
Emirates said its customers were already making more than 6,000 calls a month from dedicates phones in their seats:'So we will be making life easier for those for whom staying in touch using their mobile phone has become an indispensable part of their everyday lives.'
The system uses five small electronic 'black boxes' hidden from view behind the plane's inner casing. These boxes are connected to two half-inch-thick wires - each running the length of the plane, above the windows and luggage bays.
Each wire, in close proximity to passengers' seats, acts as internal antennae allowing phones to operate at very low power levels.
The wire effectively channels all the mobile phone signals into the plane's own satellite system, which in turn connects to the ground.
The system also blocks out stray signals from outside the plane by channelling all calls to and from the plane via the super-antennae.
Experts said using a mobile phone in a plane without this channelling low-power system has the 'potential' to interfere with sensitive avionics equipment such as radar and flight controls, though most of this is now shielded on modern planes.
Banning the use of mobiles during take-off and landing is more to do with eliminating distractions than with electronic interference, say experts.
Emirates chairman and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said: 'We are delighted to offer the choice of mobile phone use to passengers who would like to make contact with friends, family or colleagues while flying with us.
'The option of mobile phone use will be available under guidelines that recognise and respect the privacy of all our customers.'
AeroMobile president David Poltorak said: 'This is a historic step forward for the aviation industry.
'We believe that the ability to communicate efficiently, easily and safely when on board flights will become an essential feature of business and leisure travel. '
It was talking to 'a number of other airlines' about extending the service to their fleets.
The news comes just months after Ryanair announced it planned to launch a similar service in mid-2007 - subject to regulatory approval.
The Sussex-based company believes the in-flight mobile calls market could be worth £1.5bn by 2010.
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Source: Agnes Ingvarsdotti. From the Daily mail

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