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  1.    #1  
    From Infosyncworld:

    American Airlines and Qualcomm have completed a test flight of a new system to allow airplane passengers to use their mobile phones while in the air.

    http://www.infosyncworld.com/news/n/5142.html
  2. #2  
    Quote Originally Posted by goodpda
    From Infosyncworld:

    American Airlines and Qualcomm have completed a test flight of a new system to allow airplane passengers to use their mobile phones while in the air.

    http://www.infosyncworld.com/news/n/5142.html
    They are only testing for CDMA. What about GSM?
  3. #3  
    Note the participants - Qualcomm (CDMA) and AMERICAN Airlines. As soon as they have proved the viability all the other major airlines like Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Quantas, Air France & Lufthansa will want their GSM version. CDMA is no good to them.
  4. #4  
    Can you IMAGINE how expensive that is going to be? If memory serves, the current in-seat phones are about $10 dollar a minute. The airlines are unlikely to canibalise that revenue.
    Last edited by Virt; 07/21/2004 at 10:29 AM.
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by Virt
    Can you IMAGINE how expensive that is going to be? If memory servers, the current in-seat phones are about $10 dollar a minute. The airlines are unlikely to canibalise that revenue.
    Price is relative to value. Given how many calls even a frequent flyer is likely to make in a year, particularly when compared to the price of one's tickets, $10 per minute does not sound bad. I certainly will not use it to visit with small children but for talking to a client it is cheap.

    However, the estimated prices that I have heard for Connexion by Boeing on Lufthansa is $30- per flight. While the connection is not designed to provide the quality of service required for IP telephony, the NY Times quotes at least one person who tried it and found that it worked.

    I only care about either of these for long flights, flights where my ticket price is in thousands of dollars. Add tens, or even low hundreds, of dollars to the ticket price for communication and you have not made a difference.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by Virt
    Can you IMAGINE how expensive that is going to be? If memory serves, the current in-seat phones are about $10 dollar a minute. The airlines are unlikely to canibalise that revenue.
    Recent reports suggest that there is not that much revenue, in part because the price is too high. Indeed, the reports and my own observation suggest that some airlines have taken out the phones on some flights.
  7. #7  
    Funny how they won't allow phones to even be on in airplanes right now, but they are planning on having full service soon. So its obviously BS when they tell you that you can screw up the flight equipment with your phone, so you must shut it off.
  8. #8  
    Three reasons for switching off mobile service transmitters on aircraft:
    1) interfers with flight equipment
    2) interfers with terrestrial mobile networks
    3) illegal under international law

    There are ways round 3) - reaching international agreements with effected countries, and the evidence for 1) is patchy. The main reason why phones are illegal is they could interfer (jam) terrestrial mobile networks over a wide area, and so their use would invalidate planning assumptions used when designing such networks.

    CDMA pico nets might be able to get round this as very low power and can use code rejection to allow terrestrial networks to filter out unwanted signals. The latter would be harder to do with GSM as its TDMA. Also significant indoor-outdoor attenuation from aircraft.
  9. #9  
    Felipe
    On the road to 5,000 posts
    Life is what happens between Firmware releases.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by Felipe
    Very interested to see what happens!

    Problem is the 802.11 family use carrier sense so an airborne transmitter could jam a lot of receivers - ie when its transmitting a large number of users could "hear" it and hence switch off. Alternatively it could "hear" a large number of terrestrial stations and so never get access to the channel.

    Benefit of Wifi is its short range - hence each channel can be re-used reasonably often as there is attenuation above basic path loss (buildings etc) along a terrestrial path.

    But put a transmitter on a plane and it could wipe out spectrum for a large number of users - extremely spectrum inefficient (based upon the N-Systems measure ie less users within unit area).

    Depends a bit on the antennas used at either end - could get round a lot of problems by using directivity, but thats expensive on aircraft (pointing requirements).

    Hmm!
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by Virt
    Can you IMAGINE how expensive that is going to be? If memory serves, the current in-seat phones are about $10 dollar a minute. The airlines are unlikely to canibalise that revenue.
    What revenue? How many times have you seen anyone actually USE one of those in flight phones?!?! I can count them on one hand and so I imagine that the revenue would be minimal at best. In any event, I think the Internet connections on flights will make a bigger difference to business travelers than allowing cellphone use onboard. Then they have access to IM/IRC, email and a whole slew of other options of course. I also suspect there are a fair number of folks who love the idea of not being available during a flight so they can get some peace and quiet (I include myself in this group)...
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by jpahl
    Very interested to see what happens!

    Problem is the 802.11 family use carrier sense so an airborne transmitter could jam a lot of receivers - ie when its transmitting a large number of users could "hear" it and hence switch off. Alternatively it could "hear" a large number of terrestrial stations and so never get access to the channel.

    Benefit of Wifi is its short range - hence each channel can be re-used reasonably often as there is attenuation above basic path loss (buildings etc) along a terrestrial path.

    But put a transmitter on a plane and it could wipe out spectrum for a large number of users - extremely spectrum inefficient (based upon the N-Systems measure ie less users within unit area).

    Depends a bit on the antennas used at either end - could get round a lot of problems by using directivity, but thats expensive on aircraft (pointing requirements).

    Hmm!

    Not to worry! I have it on the authority of someone who has already used it, they use magic! Of course, that is the real reason that, so far, only Lufthansa has it.
  13. #13  
  14. #14  
    If you mean the connexion system that is different as its:
    - purely internal to the aircraft and hence can use much lower power
    - the signals are attenuated by the aircraft body - there are no transmitters on the outside
    - the system is not operated at low altitudes - it is switched on over a certain height ie not during take-off and final approach

    Also I know its in the 5 GHz band but is it also in the 2.4 GHz band - can't remember
  15. #15  
    Just checked - yes it is both bands (embarrassed - should know that)

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