Qualcomm Demos In-Flight Cell Phone Service
Jul 16, 2004, 8:19 AM by (staff)
On a special two-hour American Airlines test flight over Texas yesterday, Qualcomm publicly demonstrated its solution for in-flight CDMA cell phone service. The service uses a picocell - a cell phone tower the size of a laptop - to provide in-cabin coverage. Because the picocell is so close, phones automatically emit a weaker signal, preventing interference with plane navigation systems and phone networks on the ground. Calls are relayed to the ground via satellite, causing a 1-second delay. While Qualcomm's solution works only with CDMA phones, two other companies - WirelessCabin and AirCell - are developing similar solutions for WCDMA and GSM.
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