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PLANES HAVE PHONE SNAFU

In-Flight Phone Corp. is having reliability problems with the FlightLink phone service it has installed in the planes of three major airlines.

“We’re tracing the problem back to installation and we expect to resolve the matter in the next 30 to 60 days,” said In-Flight spokesman Andy Schamisso.

In-Flight has contracts with USAir, Continental Airlines and America West to provide digital, air-to-ground passenger communications service on nearly 1,000 commercial aircraft.

In-Flight admits that the companies have expressed dissatisfaction with the service, but In-Flight is taking strong steps to fix the system.

MCI Communications Corp., which holds 50 percent of In-Flight, is stepping in with technical expertise to help In-Flight resolve the difficulties.

“We don’t think there is a problem with the technology, but it’s more an issue of process,” said MCI spokesman Kevin Inda. “As an investor and strategic partner, we’re doing what we can.” MCI is the exclusive long-distance provider for FlightLink service, which includes voice, fax and access to information services.

In-Flight was created in 1989 by Jack Goeken, founder of MCI. Goeken resigned as In-Flight’s chairman and chief executive officer last December to pursue new opportunities. Phil Bakes is the present chairman, president and CEO of In-Flight.

Qatar picks Glenayre system

Glenayre Technologies Inc. announced it won a contract, valued at $1.9 million, to supply equipment for a nationwide paging system in Qatar.

The Qatar Public Telecommunications Corp., also called Q-Tel, chose Glenayre to supply equipment for a nationwide paging system. Glenayre also supplied infrastructure for Qatar’s only other nationwide paging system, which was installed in 1994.

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