The Mobile Snatchers

Photo-illustration for TIME by VIKTOR KOEN

When operations manager Spiros Stefanou learns that a flight coming into Athens International Airport is due in early, he picks up his mobile phone and alerts baggage handlers to scramble a crew quickly. Nothing unusual about that — except that the Cisco-supplied handset that Stefanou and some 100 other airport employees use never touches a mobile network. Instead, it wirelessly taps into the airport's internal network, which transmits the call for free anywhere in the 16-sq-km airport. "It bypasses any mobile or telecom network,'' says Fotis Karonis, the airport's director of information technology and telecommunications. "It's an advantage, because you don't...

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