Feeds

Inflight mobile calls - it's going to happen

Unfriendly skies

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Ericsson has launched a system to provide in-flight mobile phone services ahead of a widely-anticipated end to the ban on calls during commercial flights

The new Ericsson RBS 2708 base station functions like any other terrestrially-based mobile phone station and will allow passengers to place and receive calls when at cruising altitude.

Airline passengers are currently instructed to switch off their mobile phones before a plane takes off, as the signals could interfere with aircraft instrumentation. But although the latest mobile technology has reduced the risk of interference, air safety regulations have not been changed to take this into account.

Ericsson says that the RBS 2708 base station will not interfere with either the plane's instrumentation, or with terrestrial radio networks. The system can support up to 60 calls simultaneously and also offers support for dual-band phones.

Richard Lord, project manager at Irish company Altobridge, told ElectricNews.net that its in-flight GSM products have already been installed on the Boeing 777 and Gulfstream 550 aircraft. Like Ericsson, Altobridge makes technology to allow for in-flight phone calls. Aviation authorities worldwide have a uniform ban on the use of mobile phones on commercial aircraft during flights. However, the body that advises the US authorities on these matters, the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA), is understood to be reconsidering the ban. Lord said that the RTCA's SC-202 working group on portable electronic devices was coordinating its work with its European counterparts and said that there were "quite positive" indications that the ban would be partially or fully rescinded.

The US Federal Aviation Authority would have a final say on the matter in the US. In Europe, the ban would have to be rescinded by the aviation authorities of each of the member states.

However, representatives of both the Irish Aviation Authority and the European Aviation Safety Agency told ElectricNews.net that they were not aware of any imminent changes to existing policy on wireless devices.

Copyright © 2005, ENN

Related stories

Mobile plane ban protects us from terrorists - FBI
US broadband blimp test flight planned next month
HELLO...I'M ON A PLANE...YES...A PLANE!!

Intel backs in-flight Wi-Fi initiative

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.