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Qualcomm Demos In-Flight Cell Phone Service

Article Comments  8  

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.

more info at Qualcomm »
more info at San Diego Union-Tribune »



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This forum is closed.


Jul 22, 2004, 12:24 PM

This is Good News

1. I find it hard to believe anyone will want to hold a long conversation when there's a 1 second delay between you and the other person.

2. If you don't need to turn off your cell phone, that's one less thing you have to remember to do when you get on a plane.

3. This is great for those things that you really do need to call someone about on the plane like calling the people who are picking you up to tell them that your flight is being redirected because of fog, or is being delayed...etc etc.

4. And of course, now you could call the person picking you up as your plane is landing to tell them that you've arrived.

Jul 16, 2004, 12:21 PM

Can this really be safe?

This seems to be like Microwaves and Pace-Makers or even the Nextel Spectrum issues. Do we really need to use cell phones on planes... Most flights are unbarable enough without some "Jack" sitting next to you yelling at his wireless provider b/c he can't get signal on the 747 @ 600 mph. This probably is a bad idea... What ever happened to the airplane Call Forwarding thing (I think it was from VZW) Where you could forward your(incomming)calls for $0.10/min to the phone attached to the seat in front of you without paying $4.99/min on your Credit Card?

Anyway I just don't think we need cell phones EVERYWHERE. It's like people that Bitch about why their phone doesn't work in a National Park or at the Grand Canyon!
********HERES THAT VERIZON INFO***********

Date Posted: Mar 3, 2004, 11:49 AM
Source: Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless and Verizon Airfone yesterday announced a new service for Verizon Wireless customers who travel frequently by plane. The...
VZW still has the Airfone link...69c/min (equal to off-network roaming rates on America's Choice plans), or $10/mo + 10c/min.

Of course, not all airlines use VZ Airfone -- American (on which Qualcomm did the trial) doesn't, as they used AT&T unti...
As much as I love cell phones, (it's basically my job Wink,) part of me agrees with you. But I'm of two mind about this:

On the one hand, planes are unique due to the close quarters, assigned seating, and long duration. Those three ingredi...
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