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WirelessCabin: Use Your Mobile Phone on Airplanes

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the e.t.-phone-home dept.

Wireless Networking 296

securitas writes "What if didn't have to turn off your mobile phone when you travel by air? eWEEK's Matthew Broersma reports on a European Commission project to enable mobile phone use on airplanes. The technology works by creating short-range 'picocells' that force transmission output power to drop to 1/1000th of normal, reducing electronic interference, then using a satellite uplink. The WirelessCabin project members include the German Aerospace Centre, Siemens, Ericsson and Airbus. Initial trials will use 'GSM, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections' but will add CDMA and 3G standards. WirelessCabin is already making a picocell with CDMA2000. The first demonstrations are scheduled for this summer on Lufthansa long-haul flights with the A340-600 jet."

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296 comments

Sky high rates? (5, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8919931)

The only thing is, you might as well use the back-of-seat AirPhones to get to that satellite trnasponder rather than your own phone and the picocell...

I get the feeling that even if this allows you to use your cell phone like normal, you're going to be considered to be on a "roaming tower" as far as your cell phone company is concerned because your cell phone company won't own the picocell. Therefore, forget about using your unlimited night and weekend minutes on these flights, you'll be still paying the same through-the-nose rates for plane-to-ground communications.

Re:Sky high rates? (4, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 10 years ago | (#8919990)

Therefore, forget about using your unlimited night and weekend minutes on these flights, you'll be still paying the same through-the-nose rates for plane-to-ground communications.

Do cell phones actually interfere with airliners anyway? I mean c'mon -- are the systems onboard a modern aircraft really so fragile that my cell phone will bother them? Of course I always turn my phone off anyway because I don't want to be arrested and wind up in Cuba but still...

Of course I do recall that with my old Nextel (i700 plus -- that phone was a beast) I could tell when a call was incoming before the ringer went off because it would interfere with nearby speakers. I've never seen a cell phone other then that one (and I've used lots of different cell phones) interfere with anything though.

Happens to a friend of mine too.. (3, Interesting)

FirstNoel (113932) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920077)

His Monitor starts going nuts a few seconds before the cell phone rings. It's weird when you see it happen.

Sean D.

Re:Sky high rates? (1)

xSquaredAdmin (725927) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920088)

I could tell when a call was incoming before the ringer went off because it would interfere with nearby speakers.

Did the conversation get amplified by the speakers too? That could get interesting.

"So, Bob, is that syphilis cleared up yet?"

Re:Sky high rates? (2, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920164)

Did the conversation get amplified by the speakers too? That could get interesting.

No, it just made little static bursts on speakers (even if they weren't being used -- it would make static bursts on speakerphones that were on-hook -- all they needed was to be powered) near the cell phone. I always assumed it was the cell phone transmitting it's data packets back to the network. It was really interesting to use in the car with the surround-sound system I had. It gave my friends pause about using my cell phone ("Your going to put that right next to your brain?").

To this day I hate Nextel (billing problems that I've talked about elsewhere) but the i700plus was a true beast of a phone. It was supposedly mil-spec rated for shock and vibration resistance. That phone was indestructible.

Re:Sky high rates? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8920119)

Two things:

1) When you're on the ground and your call drops because some jackass on an airplane owns the same cell you are on then you might care.

2) When the only time you can get 3 hours of peace is on a flight from X to Y and you have to sit next to Joe on the phone to his secretary talking about the meeting he has five days from now (which he could call and talk to her about tomorrow) you might care.

Re:Sky high rates? (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920212)

When you're on the ground and your call drops because some jackass on an airplane owns the same cell you are on then you might care.

Why would roaming between cells on an aircraft be any different then roaming between cells while driving? Do I kick people off their calls if I switch to a new tower when I drive behind a building? Somehow I doubt it -- the cell networks are designed with roaming in mind.

When the only time you can get 3 hours of peace is on a flight from X to Y and you have to sit next to Joe on the phone to his secretary talking about the meeting he has five days from now (which he could call and talk to her about tomorrow) you might care.

That's a physiological problem not a technical problem. My question was is there any technical reason why cell phones won't work from airplanes? They obviously do work -- some of the people on the hijacked planes during 9/11 called out on them -- yet the FAA won't let you use them because they might 'interfere'. Is this founded or just paranoia?

Re:Sky high rates? (2, Informative)

adam mcmaster (697132) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920195)

Do cell phones actually interfere with airliners anyway? I mean c'mon -- are the systems onboard a modern aircraft really so fragile that my cell phone will bother them?

There's an article [wired.com] in this month's Wired that talks about this. Basically, no it wouldn't cause a problem.

Re:Sky high rates? (1)

nkh (750837) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920220)

Completely off-topic but my Siemens S35 has the wonderful ability to interfere with my speakers AND my monitor when a call is incoming. Strange thing is the phone never interferes when it's emitting (instead of receiving)...
/me remembers electromagnetism lessons at the university!

Re:Sky high rates? (2, Insightful)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920296)

Well, thats easy.
After the initial handshake the sending power is reduced to a minimum needed to keep contact to the corresponding cell, and in most situations thats 1/10th or so of the peak transmission power.
So while the initial handshake will cause interferences (most likely short bursts of noice, in 1 second periods), later the power is to little.

Re:Sky high rates? (1)

bofkentucky (555107) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920224)

Nokia 5160 (TDMA) will cause pops and rattles in my speakers and distort my crappy old 15" monitor at home, my 19" monitor at work seems to be immune to the interference tough. SMS messages seem to be worse about distortion than incomming calls as well.

Re:Sky high rates? (4, Interesting)

whovian (107062) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920231)

There were some archived posts to /. on this that I read recently. the upshot was that modern planes wouldn't suffer interference, but older planes would. The easier solution when dealing with the public at large was simply to ban all passengers from using them on all flights until the airlines could be sure none of the older planes was in use.

Can't find the post. Maybe s/b else can.

Re:Sky high rates? (2, Informative)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920257)

Do cell phones actually interfere with airliners anyway?

No, they interfere with cell towers, that's the problem. The plane is going so fast that the cell phone keeps on switching towers.

Re:Sky high rates? (2, Informative)

goates (412876) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920303)

You can also be in range of more than one or two towers at a time as well. Either way, the cell networks have trouble with it.

goates

Interference with speakers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8920293)

I live in an apartment building, and everytime my cell phone rings I get a repetitive tapping sound from my speakers about 2 seconds prior. Stereo speakers, TV spearkers, Computer Speakers, all of them. My TV also gets lines through it. This also happens when my neighbors receive calls.

So for those of you who say that cell phones don't cause interference, I say you're wrong.

Re:Sky high rates? (1)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920003)

That probably puts paid to my question:

Could one chase the off-peakedness across time-zones? :o)

Re:Sky high rates? (1)

thpdg (519053) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920177)

Possibly not. You may see the big wireless companies start to offer packages with airline roaming. How hard would it be for Cingular, Verizon, Sprint, Virgin, etc to work with the airlines. Designated amounts of airline minutes with calling plans, etc. Mobile to Mobile calling is this month's gimmick, let's see what this brings around. There could be bonuses for loyalty to an airline, as well.
I'm not so much a fan of cell phone use, but I would love to see a Wi-Fi access point on the plane, to get some easy broadband access.

Re:Sky high rates? (1)

vk2 (753291) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920269)

Well I guess the sales managers at the big companies are already planing "Air Minutes".

Re:WiFi in the air (1)

platypussrex (594064) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920298)

Actually, this is already in testing. Lufthansa [comparecellular.com] is rolling out service on many of its jets, and I'm sure others will follow it it's profitable.

Re:Sky high rates? (1)

DebianRcksLindowsLie (752247) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920308)

If it means no roaming I'm all for it!

Huh? (5, Funny)

xSquaredAdmin (725927) | more than 10 years ago | (#8919932)

We're supposed to turn off our cellphones on airplanes? Whoops.

Re:Huh? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8920004)

FuCK YoU AsSHaT

Re:Huh? (3, Funny)

cmdr_beeftaco (562067) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920238)

I've used my cell phone on planes for years and have only been involved in one crash and it didn't really hurt as much as I expected. I would definitly not be interested in this service. Anyone know of amplifiers and/or high gain antennae that can get through security checkpoints?

I never turn it off (4, Interesting)

jzuska (65827) | more than 10 years ago | (#8919939)

I never turn my mobile off. The phone just doenst work that high up, and I travel by air weekly. Never had any problems either.

Re:I never turn it off (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8920153)

The purported reason for the restriction is that it could interfere with the plane's function, not about problems it causes you. So I guess you and a couple hundred other people are lucky that the warning isn't accurate and your cell phone didn't make anything go boom.

hint, buy the flight insurance... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8920250)

The FIRST RULE of Project Mayhem is "Don't talk about Project Mayhem!!!

Re:I never turn it off (2, Funny)

cmdr_beeftaco (562067) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920273)

I've been using my cell phone on the plane for years and have only crashed once. Lucky for me the injuries where not severe and I am sure the plane was insured.

Re:I never turn it off (1)

goates (412876) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920268)

The problem isn't that it interferes with the aircraft, it's that it plays havoc with the cell network on the ground below. When you use your cell phone on the ground, it is only in range of 1 cell tower at a time, unless you are moving from one tower's area (or cell) to another's. When this happens, the towers and cell know to switch. In a plane you can easily be in range of several, and moving between them quite fast. If you have a plane load of cells trying to do this, it can easily overload a cell network. All modern aircraft are shielded against radiation from electronics pretty well. There may be very specific circumstances where they could interfere with the aircraft's systems, but it is very unlikely to occur.

goates

9-11 (0, Troll)

starman71taylor (189083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920312)

Well hmmm, I believe you what I find interesting though is that's what we are all supposed to believe about people in planes on 9-11. That they made CELL PHONE calls to family and friends... Of course that seems and probably is impossible. On another note, how would CNN or news agency have gotten info on those "calls" so quickly? Any ideas Slashdoters?

Too complicated (3, Interesting)

Zweistein_42 (753978) | more than 10 years ago | (#8919940)

Why not just use existing phones/ethernet jacks in Airplanes? I cannot see this much technology being any cheaper, so what is the point in using your own cell vs. built-in phones?

Re:Too complicated (2, Interesting)

xSquaredAdmin (725927) | more than 10 years ago | (#8919973)

The only advantage I can see is that then people would be able to call you. But it's not like it'd hurt them to leave a message on your voicemail. So I guess I don't see any advantages.

Re:Too complicated (2, Informative)

cmdr_beeftaco (562067) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920034)

One word, incoming telephone calls.

Re:Too complicated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8920111)

*counts slowly*

*stumbles*

where's the tylenol..

I LIKE TO CALL MY GIRLFRIENDS VAGINA "WIRELESS" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8919948)



Free roaming and always available.

If it doesn't run linux.... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8919956)

then it's not worth using

The whole no phones in planes (4, Insightful)

Marxist Commentary (461279) | more than 10 years ago | (#8919961)

is simply a red herring. The airlines stand to make confiscatory profits from the seat-back phones, which charge upwards of $10/minute. Thus, there is no incentive for them to change. Why would this be adopted?

Re:The whole no phones in planes (4, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920039)

Nope... there's two bans on phones in flight...

- The FAA doesn't like them because of the longshot theory that radio waves of any kind might just add up to a signal that tricks autopilot or other navigational systems into glitching, causing the plane to crash. That's a long shot risk, but the disaster case is kinda a bad one if it ever happens.

- The FCC also has a ban because when you're in flight, you're always at least 6-8 miles away from the nearest cell tower. You end up communicating with too many towers and bogging down the network. One or two such calls is tolerable, but a whole plane load moving through would disrupt the ground-based users of the network.

This picocell concept solves both problems by moving the nearest cell tower to just a few feet away from the phone. Therefore, the phone kicks into its lowest power setting, and never talks to any other tower.

Re:The whole no phones in planes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8920301)

The FAA doesn't like them because of the longshot theory that radio waves of any kind might just add up to a signal that tricks autopilot or other navigational systems into glitching, causing the plane to crash. That's a long shot risk, but the disaster case is kinda a bad one if it ever happens.

If cell phones are really a problem, then they should not be allowed on planes, period. Asking people to turn them off is not enough.

Re:The whole no phones in planes (5, Informative)

LordDartan (8373) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920062)

I've been a pilot for 15 years now and I can tell you without a doubt that cellphones (and most any electronic device) can affect instruments in the airplane. Yes, in this day and age the chances of that have been reduced, but it can still happen.

Re:The whole no phones in planes (1)

d_p (63654) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920081)

The restriction against cell phones is an FCC regulation and applies to all aircraft that can fly over a certain speed (maybe 200 kts?). Quickly switching cells during high speed flight causes all sorts of problems on the cell network. The common misconception is that this is an FAA reg. A pilot is under no obligation to follow FCC regs. However, the pilots have to obey the airlines, and the passengers must obey the pilot. So maybe it is a plot to force passengers to use in seat phones. Nevertheless, whenever my cell phone rings in the car, my AM/FM radio buzzes. I'd hate to think what would happen on night ILS approach in a thunderstorm...

Re:The whole no phones in planes (1)

On Lawn (1073) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920198)


Heh, I can tell when my phone is about to ring becuase I hear a sort of drum-beat in every set of speakers (on or off) that are around me.

Re:The whole no phones in planes (1)

thebra (707939) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920095)

Then why do cell phone manuals tell you not to use it in an airplane?

Re:The whole no phones in planes (2, Interesting)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920100)

Cell phones CAN cause problems with radar systems. However only in select spots (ie where yuo are in relation to the radar). Rather then say that yuo can use a cell phone anyplace on the plane other then this red circle, they just say no phones. Hell, you cant use a cell phone in the front section of the ferry boat I ride home each day because its under the radar dome.

Re:The whole no phones in planes (1)

thpdg (519053) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920206)

I thought those phones had been going away? The last couple times I flew, they were out of service, on the pretense that they were being removed/phased out.

just what we've been waiting for... (2, Insightful)

twstdr00t (78288) | more than 10 years ago | (#8919967)

I can't tell you how nice it would be to have wifi on the plane...

Re:Fragging (0, Flamebait)

Chernevog (682048) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920012)

I'd love to frag some of those Lucky ba*tards up in First class!!

Re:just what we've been waiting for... (1)

cmdr_beeftaco (562067) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920315)

Oh but this is slashdot so please try we are all interested.

Uh-oh... (5, Interesting)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 10 years ago | (#8919970)

I'm not one of those virulent mobile phone haters (I use mine all the time), but imagining a long flight with a cabin full of people having inane conversations with their chums and having to yell over the engine noise... all 100+ of them... is my idea of a bad time.

A brief scenario (4, Funny)

ArmenTanzarian (210418) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920089)

There's always that one lady with the super high-pitched voice and horrible accent (I'm picturing Fran Drescher) who just has to talk about something horrifically mindless. She's been on planes before, but decorum was preserved by the fact that her friend fell asleep with all the other normal people. Now she can ring up her equally annoying family and drone on through every time zone, I can't wait...

Re:Uh-oh... (4, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920135)

The way I see it, if they can have their cell phones, then I should get my gun. Its a checks and ballances issue.

Re:Uh-oh... (1)

nkh (750837) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920309)

You don't need to be that violent. Just throw the cellphone out of the plane's windowwwwwwww....

Re:Uh-oh... (1)

selderrr (523988) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920223)

It is allready happening on the bus, on the train, in the subway and (god forbid) in the movie theatre. Expect planes to be infected soon.

I recall a few months back, going to a movie (don't remember which one. It was supposed to be funny but apparently it didn't stick as such) and there was a couple in front of us with a 4 month old baby. Although I don't consider movie theartres an appropriate place for babies (mainly becasue of audio volume), the kid was adorable and slept the whole show through. When the movie was over, the couple got up, waking the kid in the process, who promptly cried for food. Then some dork in a seat 2 rows up behind us started yelling"'can't you shut that shit, I'm trying to make a phonecall here !"

Never been so embarassed in my whole life !

Is the danger real? (4, Insightful)

still cynical (17020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8919972)

Does anyone know where I could find some sort of evidence that there is a danger to begin with? Maybe then I'll stop believing that it's purely a matter of hoovering my wallet as completely as possible.

So you'd rather... (4, Informative)

lxt (724570) | more than 10 years ago | (#8919997)

...a plane crashed to prove it?

There's lots of evidence that phones can interfere with navigation equipment, and from my experience as an audio engineer I can tell you digital cell phones can very easily intefere with electrical equipment, disrupting signals etc.

Could prevent another 9-11 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8919977)

Reliable independent comm in flight, and even internet connectivity, could be used to notify officials and the military if they're asleep on the job about a terrorist event.

Didn't realize the range was that great (1)

Atario (673917) | more than 10 years ago | (#8919989)

Cell phones can tranceive at 0.1% their normal power level -- in addition to who knows how many times normal when in that highest-power mode? What, 1000x? That would be millionfold range. Is that true? Talk about planning ahead...

Re:Didn't realize the range was that great (1)

Mateito (746185) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920070)

I vaguely recall that range scales to the 4th power of power (no pun intended), but I could quite easily be talking through my arse.

Re:Didn't realize the range was that great (1)

Paul Crowley (837) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920071)

Surely power requirements grow on the square of distance? So that would be only about 30 times the range.

Ok, I guess (1)

Mateito (746185) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920000)

.. as long as its restricted during long haul flights.

Last thing I want is to be sitting next to some jerk who spends the whole flight yacking while I'm busy trying to adjust my body clock for the 10am presentation I'm giving on the next continent.

Picocells are the future (4, Interesting)

Paul Crowley (837) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920001)

I've been predicting picocells for a while. I think there will be a lot of them. A private owner (eg a shop or a bar) installs a picocell, hooks it up to their broadband connection, and gets some of the call revenue from the network provider in return for taking some of the weight off the towers. Battery life is improved, radiation reduced, and everyone wins. The cells units are small and cheapish, and when they fail you just send them back by post and get sent a replacement. You'll see them underground in metro stations, or at the backs of shops in buildings which block radio waves.

Re:Picocells are the future (3, Interesting)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920180)

I'd just like one in my house so I can choose to use the landline when at home so I don't have to worry about minutes or long distance, plus having better reception and high speed bandwidth. Kind of like a base station for a portable, and when I get too far away, it flips over to the cell system.

--
Evan

Suck my pines, 256 colors whore. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8920009)

Chrust dude shut the hell up your crazy mouth.

My Beautiful Mind - *BANNED* Photos (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8920010)

http://www.thememoryhole.org/war/coffin_photos/ [thememoryhole.org]

"...why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's, it's not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"
-- Barbara Bush on ABC/Good Morning America, March 18, 2003

Obligatory Mobile Explainer (3, Redundant)

sibdib (772980) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920011)

CDMA is both a mobile phone standard (IS-95) and a technology (Code Division Multiple Access) and if you're comparing "GSM" to "TDMA" to "CDMA" then you're refering to phone standards. CDMA the phone standard is junk, in all honesty, and is being phased out. The direct replacement for it is CDMA2000, which existing US IS-95 operators like Sprint PCS and Verizon are moving to.

CDMA the technology is rather better and is being used in a number of newer systems. GSM "version 2" is called UMTS, and has a configurable air interface which can be GSM's Time Division Multiple Access, EDGE (a more modern and efficient Time Division MA system), or a variant of Code Division Multiple Access (ie the CDMA the technology, not CDMA the mobile phone standard) called WCDMA, depending on the operator's preferences.

Only CDMA2000 is based upon CDMA the standard. UMTS is based upon GSM. TD-CDMA is a completely new system and isnt' based upon anything. It does use "CDMA the technology", but it certainly isn't related in any way, shape, or form to IS-95.

Re:Obligatory Mobile Explainer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8920162)

Erm, thanks. Could you credit me next time? - squiggleslash [slashdot.org] .

Re:Obligatory Mobile Explainer (1)

FrankDrebin (238464) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920241)

CDMA the phone standard is junk, in all honesty, and is being phased out. The direct replacement for it is CDMA2000, which existing US IS-95 operators like Sprint PCS and Verizon are moving to.

I assume you are implying that the voice quality is junk. The cellular providers are under pressure to make a profit so that generally means they utilize lower bit-rate voice coders on their IS-95 networks (to get more users on a given bandwidth). cdma2000 uses the exact same voice coders (well there is a new one too). And let's not forget that half of every conversation is a mobile phone, and all those legacy IS-95 phones still work on cdma2000 networks which are backwards compatible.

Although a number of other improvements are offered by cdma2000, when it comes to voice quality cdma2000 is no Cadillac to IS-95's Pinto.

Duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8920014)

Wouldn't it be easier to put a base station *on the plane*, so the phones would operate normally and then the base would communicate with the rest of the network using satellite comms or somesuch?

Re:Duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8920225)

...

someone grab this guy a clue?

Price (1)

Sophrosyne (630428) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920017)

...for some reason I just have this feeling this is going to be expensive...

Re:Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8920075)

What? You'd actually have to *pay* for services? Can't be!

Cost? (4, Interesting)

slykens (85844) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920018)

What kind of fees can we expect for this?

Inside the US seat-back phone calls run $2-$3 per minute. I had to make a call over India from Lufthansa's satellite phone on Inmarsat's network at $10 per minute a few years ago. That was an expensive call.

Roaming on a $10 per minute network certaintly would keep the chatter to a minimum for those who don't want to listen to people on mobile phones in airplanes. SMS, however, would be very cool and should be very quiet.

Shit. (5, Insightful)

Eric_Cartman_South_P (594330) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920020)

What we do NOT need is 300 assholes all chatting away while in a confined space for 6 hours.

The RULE on all airplane flights should be, "Sit down, don't smoke, don't talk, shut the fuck up and read a book because hundreds of strangers need to get along so be fucking polite, please." That should be written on every ticket.

I can't stand how self-indulgent most people are, and how important they want to think they are, and can't go without a cell phone or a deep conversation about Cosmo magazine for a few hours. Grow the fuck up and learn to sit still and read something quietly on a place. Seriously.

This is technology being used in a very BAD way IMO.

Re:Shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8920134)

Add to that:

Don't touch, kick, move the seat rest in front of you. Drop the table, push the table like there's no tomorrow.
Don't use it to pry your ass out of your seat. Don't touch them while walking down the isle.
Just let people sleep.

Re:Shit. (-1, Flamebait)

karnal (22275) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920139)

Just because you don't seem to have any good social skills doesn't mean the rest of the plane has to "shut the fuck up". I would hate to be your child.

Re:Shit. (4, Insightful)

randyest (589159) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920261)

Now that's flamebait.

Seriously. No matter how good you think your social skills are, or how impeccably perspicacious your banter may seem to you, I may not (and probably don't) want to hear it on a plane while I'm trying to read/sleep/watch a movie. See, we're stuck close together, I can't just move away from you like I might in another situation.

So yeah, I have to agree with the grandparent poster -- you really should keep conversations to a minimum, and at a very low volume, when flying. It's polite (i.e., a good social skill).

I'm not sure what the jab about being the other posters child was supposed to mean, but I for one would hate to share a plane with you if you think "good social skills" on a plane is anything other than shutting the fuck up as much as possible.

Re:Shit. (1)

david614 (10051) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920233)

While I generally agree, I think random surfing on a high speed link (in cabin wifi) would be neat. It could also be quiet, as long as people don't enable VoIP applications while in the air. That would be a nightmare!

The FAA doesn't care. (0, Offtopic)

LOL WTF OMG!!!!!!!!! (768357) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920021)

Plenty of phones already have "Airplane Mode".

The stewardess will still attempt to behead you should she see any light emitting from your mobile.

Pretty expensive uplink costs (5, Insightful)

Dubber (101609) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920027)

(from the bottom of the article):"Connexion's pricing, announced late last month, puts unlimited Wi-Fi access at $29.95 for flights longer than six hours; $19.95 for flights between three and six hours; and $14.95 for flights less than three hours. Connectivity can be purchased on a metered basis for $9.95 for the first 30 minutes and 25 cents for each additional minute. Airlines are considering an option to pay for connectivity with frequent-flyer miles, Boeing has said."

$20.00 / 6 hours = $3.33/hour
or
$30.00 / 6+ hours = ~$5.00/hour on East Coast US to Europe flights down to 1.50 an hour or so for those West Coast US to Australia flights.

& I thought 24.95 for a day's access at a conference was exorbitant!

Re:Pretty expensive uplink costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8920272)

That seems like a bargain to me.. Having Internet access on a long international flight would be well worth an additional $30. Especially on flights where you don't have your own LCD TV and the only viewing option is a shitty movie, edited for content, and hacked down to the little fuzzy 4:3 displays on the plane.

On short flights, $20 is a bit steep. On those, boredom is not so much of an issue, and I'll just read a book.

Unless you're flying with a convention of mimes... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8920035)

just imaging trying to think with 200 stuttering zombies around you chatting about nothing

The airplane is one of my last refuges, keep it sacred!!

why bother (0, Offtopic)

fadethepolice (689344) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920057)

just use ip telephony. just a way for them to fight the inevitable loss of market share. hack your matrix www.asdreams.org

loud mouth jackass alert (0, Flamebait)

sageFool (36961) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920068)

I for one hope that it stays silly expensive to make a call from a plane. Since if it is cheap or free we all know that the percentage of the population that feels the need to talk at thrice the normal volume when talking on a cell phone ("'cause dat other person is way over yonder") will promptly take to sitting in all available seats around us. Oh god!

cell phones aren't near obnoxious enough (1, Interesting)

kjamez (10960) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920082)

frankly, that's the last thing we need. maybe wireless internet in airplanes would be a good thing, but in such close quarters, do you really really want to be sitting next the bad smelling fat lady with the hairy mole holder her arm UP to make idle chitchat with her friend sitting at home watching jerry springer on their cell phones, because, well, they are 'IN'. shudder.

FUCK CDMA (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8920083)

just let CDMA die, fuck CDMA, and fuck those that use it, and I hope that the companys that use it go chapter 11

no, god. please no. (1)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920092)

FFS, minus the infrequent emergency use of cellphones on airplanes, please keep them out. All i need is that group of kids on my plane to be talking insanely loud to their friends on their cellphones. We've made out well without cellphones on airplanes for several decades of flying. we don't need them now.

It's just a matter of time before the cellphone companies make cellphones somehow work on the subways. It's going to be so damn annoying the day that happens.

Re:no, god. please no. (1)

UndercoverParrothead (644776) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920282)

It's just a matter of time before the cellphone companies make cellphones somehow work on the subways. I can't speak for other cities, but in DC there is adequate cell coverage through a majority of the Metro system.

Soul Plane. (1)

themassiah (80330) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920108)

Please see this movie for an approximation of what will happen if you use your cell phones during a flight.
Look about 80 percent into the trailer. Beware, QuickTime required.

Advertising Slogan... (1)

kelseyj (398409) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920113)

Let your fingers do the flying...

But that's my quiet time (2, Insightful)

Wiseazz (267052) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920117)

Seriously. I enjoy not being hassled by clients, etc. for those hours that I'm flying. I also like not having to listen to OTHER people gabbin' on the phone.

Just relax... Read a book. Listen to some music (softly).

Moronic Title (0, Insightful)

hot_Karls_bad_cavern (759797) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920129)

Please, for the love of fuck and people that you don't want to die, DO NOT put shit like that as a title. Half-wit, uber-13373, i'm-in-a-muthafuckin-rush-and-am-cooler-and-more-i mportant-than-the-world morons will read that and use whatever phone they happen to have on hand as the plane is in the last seconds of landing run in instruments only weather.

Nice.

Great (1)

trippy (94675) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920130)

Now i get to listen to people blabbing about crap for the duration of the flight without chance of them shutting up so i can get some sleep or do some work. Its bad enough having to wait by some one making phone calls and screaming into their phone at the terminals because they have their volume down.

Revenge will not be sweet... (1)

SysPig (63656) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920169)

For any of you rude, obnoxious business-types thinking I'll sit idly by, listening to your inane jabber on a cross-country flight should this retarded idea ever hit US planes, I have news for you.

I'll do my best to produce a natural counter-strike, but should the airline food not be sufficient, I'll have no qualms with delivering a debilitating direct blow to the noise source with Fart Spray [fartmart.com] . You have been warned.

Innocent affected bysitters: I know you'll support me in my efforts, keeping in mind the greater good the few minutes of unpleasantness will result in.

picocell? (1)

HawkinsD (267367) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920194)

Picocell? Man, that's a stupid word. Some marketing droid decided that if the "nano-" prefix was hot, then "pico-" would be hotter.

Hey, who wants to talk on my femto-phone?

Douchebags.

Nooooooooo!!!!! (0, Redundant)

Le Marteau (206396) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920208)

That is a truly AWFUL suggestion! I can see it right now... New York to Los Angeles - hour after hour of listening to some type A-hole suspender jockey with a Gordon Gekko haircut go on and on about the back nine he shot yesterday with Wilson, and how the buy-back offer is on the table, and how his son Joshua is doing at Montessori - I would have to tear an artery out of my wrist with my bare teeth to find ultimate relief from that living hell.

Re:Nooooooooo!!!!! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920314)

Murder is always preferable to suicide in such a case.

No jury in the world would convict you.

What if... (1)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920239)

What if didn't have to turn off your mobile phone when you travel by air?

What if didn't have to reread submissions before posting to Slashdot?

FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8920246)

FP!

Why you can't use Cell Phones on Airplanes (1)

dostert (761476) | more than 10 years ago | (#8920288)

I thought it was not a "danger" in a sense to the airplane itself. I thought it was more of a cellphone provider problem. The way it has been explained to me is that if you're 10K ft in the air, you're approximately equidistant from hundreds of different cellphone towers at any given instant. If you were to use your cell phone, all of these towers would try to connect you. Having five or six planes in a given area, you can clog up the network very quickly. Anyone else ever heard of this as the REAL difficulty??

mod fup (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8920306)

A sad world. At around are in need Else to be an BSD's filEsystem which gathers About bylaws that has lost
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