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Communications Hardware Technology

Cell SMS in Planes on Trial Down-Under 116

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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  • Skype Anyone? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ironwill96 ( 736883 ) on Friday April 20, 2007 @11:49AM (#18812435) Homepage Journal long until the GPRS data user figures out "hey, I can plug in a microphone and just use Skype since its 'data' traffic". Queue the inane conversations using only "data" now. Basically restricting it to data will have no effect as VOIP has been around for a long time last time I checked..

    Blegh, people should chill out and not bother everyone else when they are on an airplane.
  • Re:FCC? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by owlnation ( 858981 ) on Friday April 20, 2007 @11:50AM (#18812451)

    If you don't like a airline that supports cell phone use, you are free to take your business elsewhere.
    Who on earth modded you insightful for this statement? In theory maybe what you say is true, but in practice the world just doesn't work like that. In fact rather than insightful, I find your post arrogant and naive.

    1. Since when have airlines (or any companies, in any industry) offered radically different services, unless there was a significant difference in price. If one of the does something, usually they all do it.

    2. You are limited to route AND carrier. Sure, capital city to capital city you might get competition, outside of that... not so much choice, if any at all.

    Take your business elsewhere? Yeah, sure - good luck with that...

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