Tethering on Airplane

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by kilo, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. JayMonster

    JayMonster Member

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    we went through this previously, and it is both FAA and FCC rules with regards to bans on calls in flight.

    That being said, now you are going to be able to do even less (at least for a while) thanks to the "pants bomber"
     
  2. JhankG

    JhankG Silver Member

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    If it had ANYTHING to do with causing the plane to crash, do you think they would even allow the phones through security? Phones would be banned from even being carried on planes and there would be major security measures to ensure it. It obviously has nothing to do with that, so I think we can put that myth to rest.
     
  3. medicTHREE

    medicTHREE Member

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    Yeah. They are called myths and unwarranted fears.
     
  4. KingDroid

    KingDroid New Member

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    Exactly my thought!

    I used to have T-Mobile and I had the 8900. The cool thing about T-Mobile BB's were the ability to use UMA (Unlicensed Mobile Access) which means that through WiFi, you could make calls and text in addition to email, MMS, etc...

    So I was on a flight about 6 months ago when I had that phone and once they turned on the in-flight WiFi, I connected to it (paid like $5 or something for it for the entire flight) and was able to call, text, Facebook, email and whatever I wanted to do. It was pretty cool, I think. Really it was the only nice feature about T-Mobile...
     
  5. racklefratz

    racklefratz Guest

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    Agree. It's a RULE. Sure, that's a four-letter word, but we live in a society of rules. If we decide to just selectively obey (too strong a word for 'ya? not samredman, the scofflaws) the ones we agree with, and blow off all the rest. we're showing arrogance and disrespect for the rest of society. I don't like that kind of society.

    The airline cellphone rules are bogus. Airlines get a cut from their onboard cellphone revenues. The aviation industry has historically erred on the side of conservatism, so although no hard scientific evidence exists to support interference with airplane systems, they still want the rule. Thirdly, airborne cellphones are disruptive to ground towers since they reach multiple towers, instead of only one as the system is designed.

    But the rule still exists, for now. Do the right thing, or do your own thing. Your choice, but we're all in this together.
     
    #29 racklefratz, Dec 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2009
  6. Backnblack

    Backnblack Premium Member
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    Maybe, but would you want to be sitting next to someone talking on the cell for a 5 hr flight? Screw that.....
     
  7. antennaman

    antennaman New Member

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    There is so much incorrect information in this thread, along with a good deal of hard nosed tone to the messages that I considered whether or not to respond for some time.

    But, perhaps you would like to learn the reason for the ban in flight. I am a consultant to the cellular industry in such matters.

    It's not primarily about interference, although that possibility does exit. One 800 or 1900 mHz device working within an aircraft could be but probably is not a major issue, but once 10, 15 or more are all transmitting and receiving, the possibility for inter-modulation (I'm not going to get into definitions; suffice it to say the cumulative and multiplicative effect of many transmitters and receivers all working on slightly different frequencies) does increase.

    These "IM" products have the possibility to interfere with communication and navigation equipment. Will it, as another poster so eloquently said, "bring down" the plane? No. Will the effect possibility render an ILS, GPS, Pegasus, ACARS, or other sensitive radio gear in the plane flaky? Possibly...and flaky, in flight, generally means don't use it....which could make the flight more difficult....and therefore dangerous.

    This effect is exacerbated if the interference source is near the mounting location of the affected device. Not all comms equipment (for that matter, almost none of it) is located in the cockpit. It's scattered all over the plane. One of our "knowledgeable" heroes Horace, perhaps a commenter here, might be seated 6' from an aircraft radio device trying to resolve a low level radio signal coming from miles away, and without knowledge, generate an IM product slap-dab on frequency.

    On a clear bright summer day, if a plane has a flaky ILS or can't communicate with it's Pegasus or ACARS, no big deal. The pilot taps on it, scratches his head, lands the plane, and writes it up.

    However, I would not want to lose that ILS, or even have it go flaky for a second, at 200' altitude on final on a driving snow night while landing because Horace in seat 19B "knows" it won't hurt the plane.

    However, another REAL issue, perhaps more near and dear to we phone freaks, is what it does to the cellular systems. The FCC requires compliance, and as a Part 121 or 135 carrier, your airline must help them have you comply:

    Cellular technology, over 'old fashioned' IMTS systems which it replaced, is based upon one, single, unavoidable issue: reuse of frequencies. Old mobile phone systems covered miles and miles with their base stations.....a city the size of Chicago had one base station, and 24 channels at most.

    Cellular reuses those channels over and over again with relatively low-lying base station sites, with a limited (by comparison) 'illumination' area....they cover a few miles at maximum. Ten or fifteen miles away, (sometimes more, sometimes less) those frequencies are used again. You can use your phone because your phone can't "hear" the same frequency being used at the distant cell site (and dozens others in that, perhaps, tri-county area). Same with the guy on the same channel on the other site not being disrupted by you.

    Now, we take one of us, and place our transmitter at 10, 15, 20, or more THOUSAND feet.

    Instead of a 2-8 mile 'range' of our phone to a base station, we now (at 20,000 feet) have a 'radio horizon' of 200 miles in every direction....a circle (not perfectly round because you are in an aluminum tube) of 400 miles in diameter.

    Can you IMAGINE for a moment how many cellular base stations, using the frequency you are currently using, are now "illuminated" by that signal? It's dozens, and dozens.

    So, while you are doing it, you are interfering with calls on the ground....and, since your phone cannot 'hand off' as it normally does, you will experience poor call quality while you are causing this havoc. And, your phone may be 'heard' by two systems at once, and each system attempt to give it instructions for call handling.

    Ever notice how mobile operation is degraded when using the phone at comparatively great elevations (rooftops of skyscrapers, etc)? Same effect, both ways.

    Now, there are exceptions, and I'm sure I will hear them....."I used my phone once on a plane to Peoria for 20 minutes and blah, blah, blah", or "I never had a problem on a rooftop". These nonscientific, colloquial results are exceptions; what I've explained here are the REASONS for the problem.

    Are the airlines going to give a lesson in radio propagation to Suzi when telling her that her phone needs to be off? Nope. The simple answer is safety, and it does have some basis in fact. If Suzi and 17 others were all using their phones, there WOULD be a problem.

    So, may I suggest that we as above-average, much-more-technically-informed folks consider these points, and understand what REALLY does happen? It's not a dark conspiracy to make money.....it's simple, (very simple) technology.
     
  8. Backnblack

    Backnblack Premium Member
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    Thanks for the informative post.
     
  9. JhankG

    JhankG Silver Member

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    Does the same thing hold true when accessing the internet on a phone while on a plane?
     
  10. Backnblack

    Backnblack Premium Member
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    Using Airplane supplied Wifi....No
    Using Cellular Data...Yes
     
  11. hughesjr

    hughesjr Member

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  12. kilo

    kilo New Member

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    Just wait until Solid Snake develops an e-bomb app to disable surrounding electronics. :icon_eek:

    There's an app for that.
     
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