[aprssig] Balloons, Ham Radio and APRS in UK

w2kb at comcast.net w2kb at comcast.net
Mon Apr 24 13:23:47 CDT 2006


The FCC still has a ban in effect.  See:  http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/index.htm?job=operations_1&id=cellular  Note that it includes balloons, and it cites the specific FCC rule reference.  

As you say, the pico cell proposal would apply only to aircraft that could have such a device installed, essentially the economics would dictate that be limited to airliners and high-end corporate GA planes.  There have been reports of cellphone use interfering with GPS navigation, at least on smaller planes.  Given that the FAA is moving (albeit slowly) towards elimination of radar air traffic control surveilance in favor of WAAS GPS position reporting , anything beyond the pico cell concept would be problematic unless that potential interferece is addressed. 

I have a cellphone interface for my aviation headset, but its legal use is limited to when on the ground, or in a bona fide emergency if there was an aircraft comm failure. (though I carry an Icom aviation HT to address the latter should it ever happen.)

73, ---Ken W2KB
-------------- Original message -------------- 
From: "KC2MMI (Jared)" <kc2mmi at verizon.net> 

> Ken- 
> <> 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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