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[aprssig] Balloons, Ham Radio and APRS in UK

KC2MMI (Jared) kc2mmi at verizon.net
Mon Apr 24 17:13:43 UTC 2006


Ken-
 <<By way of comparison, here in the USA it is illegal per FCC to utilize a
cellphone in any aircraft while aloft. >>

I think that has changed. AFAIK the current situation is that the FCC no longer
bans the use, but it allows the FAA to control air traffic matters, and only the
FAA ban is currently in effect for aircraft use of cell phones. (And the FAA in
turn allows airlines and pilots further ability to also ban what the FAA have
allowed.)

The FAA has been made aware that interference issues on aircraft probably don't
exist, and they are actively discussing deploying "pico" cells on aircraft which
would control cell phones on the aircraft, forcing them to lowest power, and
relaying the calls out. This would ensure good connections--and allow the
airlines to charge extra for the use of cell phones. Which is apparently the
real issue, if the airlines can make a profit they'll ensure it happens.

Apparently there are other issues with the cell phone system, i.e. the problem
of resolving one call that "arrives" in too many towers, or towers that are too
distant (latentcy timing issues) and someone "in the business" had mentioned
that systems now may use signal timing to exclude phones more than 32(?) miles
from a tower, solving that technical issue.





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