Mobility

Mobile phone calls onboard planes soon

If regulatory go-ahead is given, passengers could soon find themselves using their mobile phones when planes are more than 3,000 meters high in European airspace.

If regulatory go-ahead is given, passengers could soon find themselves using their mobile phones when planes are more than 3,000 meters high in European airspace.

Plans are afoot across EU countries to introduce technology which permits mobile calls without risk of interference with delicate aircraft systems.

Here's how the system works, according to BBC News:

The proposed system utilises an on-board base station in the plane which communicates with passengers' own handsets. The base station - called a pico cell - is low power and creates a network area big enough to encompass the cabin of the plane.

The base station routes phone traffic to a satellite, which is in turn connected to mobile networks on the ground.

Airlines, such as Virgin Atlantic, are "watching developments closely." Individual airlines still need to decide whether to implement this technology.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the United Kingdom says that the technology could be implemented next year.

Is being able to make mobile phone calls onboard a plane a good thing?

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

Editor's Picks