Carriers Want More Time To Figure Out Phones In Airplanes

Well, hot after yesterday’s article on Boeing moving towards in-flight cellular phone services, today the mobile carriers asked to slow down the process a little, and to extend the flaps for another 60 days. The FCC is requesting Comments from industry on the issue of phones in planes, and the deadline for comments was later this month. Now, the CTIA, Verizon Wireless, and Cingular have requested a 60-day extension. At issue for the carriers is how they would comply with a host of demands being made by the Feds here in the US. Agencies like the DoJ, Homeland Security, and the FBI have all made requests for such service which include: carriers to record all calls, carriers to provide real-time law enforcement access to call recordings and call records, carriers should be able to locate a caller, carriers should flag any callers who are connected to another caller on a different plane, law enforcement should be able to interrupt calls and conference into calls, carriers should be able to redirect all calls from a plane, carriers should be able to prioritize emergency call traffic, and also comply with existing CALEA wiretapping laws. Wow… no wonder the carriers want to think about this for another month or two. It will take a lot of time and money to comply with the above demands, and carriers may want to thing about the ROI on the effort as well as the technological challenges.

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