Feeds

Inflight mobile calls - it's going to happen

Unfriendly skies

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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European counterparts and said that there were "quite positive" indications that the ban would be partially or fully rescinded.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 In Europe, the ban would have to be rescinded by the aviation authorities of each of the member states.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

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.