Phones On Planes

from the yakkety-yakking-in-the-air dept

Well, now that we've got WiFi in the sky, we're getting closer to yakking in the sky as well. A few months back we mentioned the idea of sticking a cell tower on the plane itself as a way of avoiding that whole messy phone-connecting-to-hundreds-of-cell-towers-on-the-ground thing. Now, American Airlines and Qualcomm have successfully tested just such a solution. Passengers were able to make calls, send text messages and surf the internet from their phones. Of course, if this works out, and 3G wireless networks become more popular, airlines may not even need to worry about setting up internet access on a plane -- people will do it by themselves using their phones. Of course, the test only ran for CDMA phones (it is Qualcomm running the test, after all), but that does raise a question about whether every plane will need to carry such micro-cells from all the major carriers to make this really work. Some may also wonder whether or not airlines will need to create special "quiet zones" (like those found on many train lines) for those who are annoyed at the possibility of sitting next to someone screaming (and with all that background noise, they will be screaming) on their mobile phone for the whole flight.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Gary Potter, 16 Jul 2004 @ 12:18pm

    WiFi in the Sky

    Was local news for us last evening. Sadly, it will be at least 2 years before anything rolls out.

    Based upon today's usage, maybe the airlines won't price this out of sight. The connect fee alone is already a hefty $10.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Jul 2004 @ 12:43pm

      Re: WiFi in the Sky

      Christ, Now I will hafta listen to idiots in planes asking such important questions as "Where are you at?" and then hearing them brag that they are calling from 30 thousand feet up.

      I'm buying a cell phone signal blocker. I don't give a shit weather they are legal or not.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jul 2004 @ 10:01am

    No Subject Given

    I'm leavin' on a jet plane ... I don't know when I'll be home again ...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.