If you fly Air New Zealand later this year you'll be able to text and SMS to your heart's content, the airline said today.

But you won't be able to use voice on the service, because of "recent customer feedback".  That "recent customer feedback" is no doubt because if you're having a snooze the last thing you want to hear is some jerk in the seat beside you screaming down his Crackberry or his iPhone, "Honey, I'm on the plane".

Air New Zealand

"Passengers will be requested to keep their phones on silent mode," said the airline. It's offering the service in partnership with Aeromobile, which will offer individuals'own mobile service provider in conjunction with other international roaming plans.

The service will be provided on Boeing 777-300 aircraft ordered by Air New Zealand that will be delivered this November. ANZ has five B777-300ERs on order. The service will let people use their laptops and netbooks to access their emails and internets through mobile broadband connections.

How much will it all cost? Pricing will be confirmed in the next few months. And it depends whether the authorities give Air New Zealand the go-ahead, too.