Feeds

EC backs inflight mobile calls

Crazy Frog coming to a seat near you

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Best practices for enterprise data

European aviation authorities say that mobile phones would improve security on commercial air flights without posing a safety risk to the passengers on-board.

The findings are included in a little-known report entitled "Certification Considerations for Cellular Telephone Systems in Civil Transport Aircraft," which was published late last year and was carried out for the European Commission and EuroControl, the body responsible for co-ordinating air traffic control regulations among EU member states.

The report said that on-board mobile communications would improve aircraft security, since they would facilitate communications between on-board sky marshals and security officials on the ground.

"Passengers would be permitted to use their cell phones only during the cruise phase of flight, as defined by the aircraft constructor, when authorised by the cabin crew," the report said.

The phone service would be provided by a small base station on the plane, which would then connect to terrestrial telephone services via satellite or radio links.

The report was prepared in consultation with the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA), the US group which advises the US Federal Aviation Authority on the issue. The RTCA's SC-202 working group has been examining the issue from a US perspective.

The aviation authorities of each member state would have the final say on the issue in Europe, whereas the Federal Aviation Authority would make the decision in the US.

However EuroControl's report cautioned that although it is technically possible to operate mobile phones on planes, there are significant spectrum licensing and operational issues to be addressed.

It said that even if mobile phones are judged to be safe, there are other issues that would have to be addressed by airlines before phones could be used, noting that airlines would have to introduce guidelines for making and receiving calls.

"A likely provocation is the frequent ringing of cell phones or of calls being made with a raised voice that disturbs other passengers," it noted. "An aircraft is not like a train, where a passenger can move from one seat to another."

In mid-June Ericsson launched an in-flight base station, the RBS 2708, which functions like any other terrestrially-based mobile phone station and will allow passengers to place and receive calls when the plane is at cruising altitude. Likewise, Ireland-based Altobridge also makes in-flight GSM products, which have already been installed on the Boeing 777 and Gulfstream 550 aircraft.

© ENN

Related stories

Airline passengers love inflight SMS, hate voice calls
Inflight mobile calls by 2006?
Error 404 at 40,000 feet
A380 delivery delayed for six months
Mobile plane ban protects us from terrorists - FBI
US tries to shoot down OnAir
Boingo hops onto Boeing Connexion

Recommendations for simplifying OS migration

More from The Register

next story
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms
Readers chat to the pair who flog the tech
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?