20/09/2005

In-flight mobile calls to start next year - Network IT Week

In-flight mobile calls to start next year - Network IT Week

Phones on flights? Airlines have been against this for years, well actually they haven't, the mobile phone companies have.

Mobile phone networks are designed such that hand-offs between cells work at speeds of less than around 70mph (normal maximum driving speeds). When in a plane, especially coming in to land, a mobile phone may be "visible" to hundreds of cell sites, and the signal will hand off to non-adjacent cells. Normally while driving a phone will nicely travel between sites in a nice orderly manner so the network doesn't have to do a large ammount of processiing to switch traffic around.

When planes land they are in close proximity to cell sites (many airports have sites on the grounds itself), these pump out signals of much higher power than any phone and don't interfere with aircraft systems.
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