Feeds

EC backs inflight mobile calls

Crazy Frog coming to a seat near you

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins
Who will save the systems from the men and women who save the systems from you?
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Ofcom snatches 700MHz off digital telly, hands it to mobile data providers
Hungry mobe'n'slab-waving Blighty swallows spectrum
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.