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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
55,009
17,391



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The U.S. Federal Communications Commission plans to introduce a proposal that would allow passengers to use cell phones on airplanes during flight, reports The Wall Street Journal. Under the terms of the proposal, airplane passengers would be permitted to make voice calls and use cellular data when above 10,000 feet.
The Federal Communications Commission will propose allowing passengers to use their cellphones on airplanes, people familiar with the matter said.

While phone use would still be restricted during takeoff and landing, the proposal would lift an FCC ban on airborne calls and cellular data use by passengers once a flight reaches 10,000 feet, an FCC official said.
The proposal, which will be discussed during the FCC's December meeting, would let individual airlines implement wireless technology and decide whether to allow customers to make voice calls while in flight.

The FCC introduced a similar proposal in 2007, which was ultimately abandoned after both numerous complaints about the idea and a "lack of technical information."

Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration relaxed the rules on the use of electronic devices in flight, permitting gate to gate use of devices like iPads. Most major airlines in the United States have now adopted the new policy, which allows an iPhone to be used in-flight with "Airplane" mode enabled to restrict cellular access.

The Federal Communications Commission intends to release the proposal as a Notice of Proposed Rule Making, accepting comments on the plan ahead of a final decision. According to The Wall Street Journal, the entire process could take several months.

Article Link: FCC Proposes Permitting In-Flight Voice/Data Cell Phone Use
 

AriX

macrumors 6502
Jan 8, 2007
349
0
Where are you sourcing that "all major airlines in the United States have now adopted the new policy"? I flew Virgin America two days ago and they forced everyone to turn off all their electronic devices during take-off and landing as usual.
 

pk7

macrumors 6502
Sep 27, 2011
441
64
Would this even work?

I get no cellular signal at all once the plane passes ~12,000-14,000 feet, let alone 35,000 feet.

Although I feel like I saw a lady using her Verizon iPad with LTE once, but I may have confused it with being the in flight wifi.
 

Patriot24

macrumors 68030
Dec 29, 2010
2,811
795
California
Please, no. Just...no.

I am all for allowing devices at all stages of flight, but I do not want to be one a plane full of people screaming into their phones.

May god have mercy on our souls.
 

Grimace

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2003
3,551
121
with Hamburglar.
ugh. Screaming babies, and now people yelling into their cell phones at 30,000 feet. I guess the FCC is only responsible for saying that the airlines could do it, not that they should.
 

BruceEBonus

macrumors 65816
Sep 23, 2007
1,354
1,359
Derbyshire, England
Hello. Yes! No! I'm on the plane! Yes. The plane!! No! Not the train. The plane! Yes! Yes, the plane, yes! What? No! It's rubbish! Easyjet. Yeah. Ciao! Ciao!
 

Arias21

macrumors newbie
Nov 9, 2005
14
2
As long as there is a quiet section like the quiet car on a train. (Impossible I know)
So please just no.
 

zman2100

macrumors regular
Apr 26, 2009
237
14
Florida
For the love of god please don't let this come to fruition. Allowing use of electronic devices is one thing, but allowing someone to take phone calls is another. I can't imagine having to sit next to someone who spends the majority of a 2 hour flight on the phone.

Perhaps even if it does get passed, airlines would still not allow phone calls during a flight as company policy.
 

newdeal

macrumors 68020
Oct 21, 2009
2,430
1,562
Just don't fly over New York with an AT&T iPhone or your call will drop for sure. I fail to see how people would get signal at cruising altitude but if they could I would assume it would cut in and out regardless.
 

FrizzleFryBen

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2009
420
48
Charlotte, NC
Like everyone else. NO!

I hate sitting next to someone that wants to talk to me, let alone someone who is talking next to someone else, now on a cell?!? (I understand the first two will happen and I'm okay with it)

If you want more angry people on a plane, this is the way to do it. Hell, I don't think you should be allowed to talk on a phone while still at the gate or on tarmac.

One more, I don't think you should be on the phone when ordering your drink at starbucks either. <----evil people do this
 

curmudgeon32

macrumors regular
Aug 28, 2012
240
1
Would this even work?

I get no cellular signal at all once the plane passes ~12,000-14,000 feet, let alone 35,000 feet.

Although I feel like I saw a lady using her Verizon iPad with LTE once, but I may have confused it with being the in flight wifi.

Yeah, I don't understand this either. Are phones and towers capable of connecting to each other from 35,000 feet up moving 600mph? Even supposing the distance from the tower was surmountable, seems like you'd be passed from tower to tower incredibly quickly — and out west you're probably over vast areas that have few/no towers.
 

staveb

macrumors member
May 13, 2009
55
0
How would this even work? My phone quits working once I'm up around 10,000 feet anyway. Sounds like a moot point.
 

TWSS37

macrumors 65816
Feb 4, 2011
1,107
232
Don't confuse being allowed to with it being possible. Very unlikely to pick up a signal at that altitude consistently.
 

krravi

macrumors 65816
Nov 30, 2010
1,173
0
I recently flew with Emirates. They allow both. They have a satellite based Internet and Cellular service and is available even during transatlantic flights.The plane has a cellular tower like device that in turn communicates with the satellite and enables calling. I say this because most of the domestic ones use ground based systems.

The catch was, it was very expensive! Around $3.00/min to make a call and a Dollar or more for a single SMS.

Data on the other hand was like $30/30 MB.

While FCC may finally allow this domestically, it would still be out of reach for most customers....
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,891
1,480
Palookaville
Would this even work?

I get no cellular signal at all once the plane passes ~12,000-14,000 feet, let alone 35,000 feet.

Although I feel like I saw a lady using her Verizon iPad with LTE once, but I may have confused it with being the in flight wifi.

Just don't fly over New York with an AT&T iPhone or your call will drop for sure. I fail to see how people would get signal at cruising altitude but if they could I would assume it would cut in and out regardless.

Yeah, I don't understand this either. Are phones and towers capable of connecting to each other from 35,000 feet up moving 600mph? Even supposing the distance from the tower was surmountable, seems like you'd be passed from tower to tower incredibly quickly — and out west you're probably over vast areas that have few/no towers.

How would this even work? My phone quits working once I'm up around 10,000 feet anyway. Sounds like a moot point.

The new guidelines would let airlines install special equipment to relay wireless signals from the plane to the ground, likely by way of a satellite connection. A similar system already exists in Europe. Last week, the European Commission approved passengers’ use of 3G and 4G data from airplanes as well.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...-propose-allowing-cell-phones-during-flights/
 

garylapointe

macrumors 68000
Feb 19, 2006
1,812
1,195
Dearborn (Detroit), MI, USA
How would this even work? My phone quits working once I'm up around 10,000 feet anyway. Sounds like a moot point.

That's like saying "how would internet on a plane work? I lose a WiFi connection at about 500 ft. And I've have to pick a new WiFi connection every 10 seconds as I lose signal." They'd obviously put in a relay/router device to make it work...

That said: NO! NO! NO! I don't want rude people talking on a phone my whole flight. Some idiot talking loud on a cell phone for hours is not my idea of fun.

Gary
 
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