First permitted in-flight mobile call made
Hello? Yeah, I'm on a plane...
UK communications regulator Ofcom yesterday cleared the way for mobile phone calls to be made on board aircraft, but airline Emirates has already begun allowing passengers to phone home from the wide blue yonder.
The airline today claimed it was the first commercial airline to have permitted a mobile call to be made from a plane. It said the call was made during a flight between its native Dubai to Casablanca. It didn’t say at what point in the journey the call was put through, but it was made on 21 March.
Emirates now offers in-flight calls on some routes
However, Emirates has said the plane was an Airbus A340 fitted with technology to prevent mobiles from interfering with the plane’s electronic equipment.
Ofcom’s ruling will eventually allow airlines flying in UK airspace to install GSM basestations, operating over the 1800MHz band, on board aircraft. Calls are only allowed to be made when planes are 3000m above the ground, and cabin crew can turn off the equipment at any time.
It’s up to individual airlines to decide if they want to offer in-flight calls, for which airlines must first obtain a special licence. Ofcom will hand these out for free, but the European Aviation Safety Agency calls the shots over the safety of plane-based call equipment, so airlines will need EASA authorisation for any mobile phone basestation they install.
And with mobile phone use also comes...
...The annoying shit heads who think it is okay to have their phone playing music at full volume. That is possibly more infuriating than people talking non-stop on mobiles.
It is bad enough on buses and trains, but on planes when it is REALLY confined..... I can feel me going the same way as Mike Flugennock!
They have gone this far...
Why not just implant a call phone equivalent into everyone (for a fee). It would be biological powered (no need for a battery), and then it could read your mind so you don't need to talk.
It could also be used in place of a fingerprint to identify you for those going through the new terminal at LHR.
Step right up and we'll install one for you.
"Presumably the outbound calls will be routed the same way as Skyphones. Oh sorry, you lot in the back don't have them...."
What 3rd world airline do you fly with, emirates and singapore have phones and email in cattle class. You have to pay to use it but it's only a few dollars.
Made me laugh when our boss said of his BA first class where he was able to have any DVD he liked put in for him - on either of the above the entire plane can watch anything from the massive movie / tv database just by clickong on their touch screen.
BA - backwards airlines.
People can already talk to each other
And do so. What's different about the phone.
If it works as well as the seatback phones (like, almost not at all) then there won't be much chatting going on. Maybe a few texts.
Lufthansa had WiFi on their planes for a while, but took it out again - I'm guessing lack of takeup.
In the case of the plane that was <strike>shot down by fighters</strike>"heroically recaptured by its passengers", I think the calls were mostly voiced by actors.
Planes aren't exactly electrically quiet environments
You already get cell service on cruise liners through a satellite link. It works fine on the ship but since the traffic is routed through a base station on some remote carribean island the charges are at nosebleed level. I expect aircraft will use the same system.
Planes aren't exactly electrically quiet environments. If you something with a radio in it then 'accidentally' activate in flight. You won't crash, but unless you're listening to FM and you're right by the window you are going to hear a lot of noise.