The Real Reason – Why You Cannot Use Cell Phone On Airlines

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Using a cell phone on airlines is no longer prohibited. We used to turn off our telephones and save them when we flew, but now they can be left in “airplane mode.”

Why does this happen? What has changed? What has changed? Were not aircraft meant to fall from the sky to leave any forgotten flyers? And what if everyone began yakking off during cross-country flights?

How Mobile Systems Work?

Your phone scans the nearest cell tower to connect to when you make or get a call. Each tower is a zone (a ‘cell’) that can reach up to 80 km in a radius on a flat landscape, or slightly smaller in a radius in hilly or dense urban areas.

Every so often we hear the mess or the delay caused by the passenger who couldn’t turn his mobile phone, iPod, and Nintendo DS off, but no accident has been attributed to any electronic device intrusion despite the millions of devices which are being placed into the sky every year. This is the basic functioning of phone. You can know more about working of phone by clicking here.

Why Is Mobile Phone Use Still Taboo On Aircraft?

While technological challenges are at stake, experts believe that the real explanation lies in public opinion rather than in hard science. A concern not a fact to be obliged

“It’s a concern rather than a fact that phones could radiate energy which in turn could cause interference with aeronautical systems,” said David Russell, Chief Executive Officer of On  Air, a Swiss company that provides air-to-ground communication systems on several European, Middle-Eastern, and Asian airlines.

Like the U.S., some European countries banned aircraft from using mobile phones. But, Russell said, because modern technology has solved security and ground telecommunications problems, they have lifted those bans.

The first airline to test a service allowing passengers to use their telephones for email, text, and phone calls was AIR France’s in April 2008. Similar agreements were confirmed with On Air by Oman Air, Royal Jordanian, and Shenzhen Airlines.

However, although mobile telephone networks emerge around the world, U.S. regulators have proven a more difficult challenge to break.

Danger That Cannot Be Denied


But there’s a non-negligible chance of messing with sensitive aircraft systems using your devices.

While most modern telephones do not do it, GSM (2G) telephones are known to interfere with other electronic systems. Past owners will note the stereo or speaker telephone’s “buzz” while calling. Now imagine that a responsive navigation device would take this buzz. To understand, that could not be nice, you do not have to be technically concerned.

Researchers found that electromagnetic emissions would interfere with aviation systems from personal electronic devices. In particular, unbroken cockpit instruments may be damaged by those in the 800-900MHz range. On older aircraft, this is a specific concern. New aircraft are designed to accommodate the large number of electronics that aircraft receive from flying audiences.

Aircraft are unbelievably complex aircraft packed with electronics and vital systems essential to perform the modern flight miracle. It is also difficult to measure how secure it is in any imaginable contingency of complex systems. As several new telephones are put on the market annually, it would be difficult to test how each model could interfere with each commercial fleet’s systems globally. So aircraft manufacturers “harden” their aircraft’s vital systems to make them less vulnerable to electronics interference.


Airlines are also innovating. For example, Delta provides free access to Facebook and WhatsApp messaging apps that operate through Wi-Fi. However, cellular text still prohibits that requires cellular radio.

Of course, when on the flight, some people do want to make phone calls. Unfortunately, this day could come for those of us who do not want to sit by someone blabbing loudly on a long flight. Airlines experiment with “picocells” in the airfield itself, which are like mini cell towers with low strength. As this is the nearest “tower” a phone could find on a plane, no tower on the ground will be connected to it, remove the questions of the FCC. Your call is routed through the onboard Internet Provider device of the plane like the VoIP call.

Safety Is Not The Only Issue

The FAA should indeed show that it would not interfere with aircraft systems before any airline could permit mobile phone use in flight. The FAA, however, claims it’s moot.

Since 1991, because of possible interference in ground networks, the FCC has restricted the use of mobile phones on aircraft.

For instance, when using your cellular phone on Times Square, the telephone looks for the closest cell towers and it does not have to work too hard to make a call, as long as you are in a space with good coverage.

But if you are using your phone on an aircraft, the phone and the network are confused by the thousands of feet above the cell towers, traveling 500 miles per hour. There are too many cell towers and too many channels available at a given time for one phone.

A pico cell is used by technologies such as On Air to try to regenerate the ground in the air. The picocell is a cell tower that can communicate normally with phones on the plane and towers on the ground.

However, despite this outstanding Network problem being resolved by technology, the FCC is barred.

Linkage vs. Calm

They still reluctant to trade peace of mind for connectivity though they enjoy the ability to remain in touch with personal and professional contacts on the ground.

The US and Delta use the internet service offered by Aircell to convert their aircraft into flying Wi-Fi hotspots. However, while Aircell can offer voice services, consumers’ choice is currently as much an obstacle as cellular telephone prohibition.

Aircell’s chieft of technology, The airline and its customers themselves say they do not want this operation.

They want peace when they’re flying.

About the security issue, he said that while security is an issue, it is unknown that cell phones on airlines hurt navigation systems

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  1. Kristine

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    However, how can we communicate?