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Communications Hardware Technology

Cell SMS in Planes on Trial Down-Under 116

Posted by Zonk
from the guess-where-i-am dept.
jetkins writes "Just days after the FCC announced that the use of cellular phones would be officially banned onboard aircraft in the USA, ZDNet reports that Australian airline Qantas is to undertake a three-month trail of a new in-flight cellular service. Initially installed on a single aircraft, the system utilizes technology from British company Aeromobile, providing a miniature GSM 'tower' within the aircraft cabin. Since GSM phones dynamically adjust their transmit power, being in such close proximity to the tower means that phones will emit only minimal RF. The system operates as a separate 'country', meaning phones must be enabled for international roaming and calls are charged at international roaming rates. During the trial at least, only SMS, MMS, and GPRS (data) traffic will be allowed; voice calls will be blocked."
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Cell SMS in Planes on Trial Down-Under

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  • Re:FCC? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by varmittang (849469) on Friday April 20, 2007 @10:50AM (#18811639)
    Who cares if they interfere with flight controls. I'm sick of being in a public place and having everyone yapping on their cell phones. Take that and put it in an enclosed area, makes for a very long ride with someone sitting next to you that wont shut up. Especially if you are trying to get some shut eye. That is why they are allowing data, and SMS stuff only, so that you don't have to talk to communicate with people outside the plane.
  • Not a bad idea... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MadCow42 (243108) on Friday April 20, 2007 @10:58AM (#18811769) Homepage
    >> During the trial at least, only SMS, MMS, and GPRS (data) traffic will be allowed; voice calls will be blocked.

    Having data/sms access would be nice, but I've always thought that having voice access would be very disturbing. The last thing I need is to spend an overnight flight listening to the knob next to me jabber on his phone the whole time.

    If they do enable this in a wider scale, I would hope they continue to block voice calls.

    MadCow.
  • Re:FCC? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Friday April 20, 2007 @11:01AM (#18811807)
    I'm sick of being in a public place and having everyone yapping on their cell phones.

    Airplanes are (supposed to be) private possessions of private companies. If you don't like a airline that supports cell phone use, you are free to take your business elsewhere.
  • Re:FCC? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Friday April 20, 2007 @12:21PM (#18812859)
    In theory maybe what you say is true, but in practice the world just doesn't work like that.

    Yes, that's why I was careful to include "supposed to", though not for the reasons you mentioned. I was more referring to the governmental decree that a commercial airline is not allowed to operate without abiding by numerous legislations.

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