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RE: How do I log on while in flight?

  • From: Scott Weeks
  • Date: Thu Jun 27 17:08:16 2002

I was mainly thinking of satellite systems, but failed to remember the
latency problems associated with them so the videoconferencing example
wouldn't work. (not enough coffee today... :)  So for latency tolerent
apps does satellite work well when traveling at air speeds?  If the
footprint doesn't cover the entire area traveled how well does hand off
from one 'cell' to another work?  What do the big boys like the president
and corporate execs use?

Also, that the cellular network could crash if cell phones are used at
altitude seems like a big security hole to me.


On Thu, 27 Jun 2002, Leigh Anne Chisholm wrote:

: The FCC prohibits communication using a cellular telephone while in an
: aircraft in US airspace.  In Canada, I don't believe there is such a
: regulation.
: >From doing research on this topic earlier this year, I came across news
: articles that say that several aircraft manufacturers have tested the use of
: cellular telephones on aircraft systems and found no effects whatsoever.  So
: why the FCC ruling?
: Likely it's because of the design of the cellular network - which from what I
: understand, is far more dense in the US than it is in Canada (which might be
: why the CRTC doesn't have such a prohibition).  The problem is what happens
: when a cellular device is based above the cellular system antennae - there is
: an ability to connect to multiple systems simultaneously, and that's something
: the system wasn't designed to see happen.  Additionally, there's the hand-off
: factor, of the negotiation process of what happens when you leave the range of
: one cellular tower and enter the range of another.  In an aircraft, that
: happens at a rate greater than would be if the cellular phone were used in a
: car - so again, there's a problem there.  The Airphone system found on
: commercial aircraft was designed to overcome these limitations - which is why
: they CAN be used onboard commercial aircraft systems.
: So, besides it being illegal, you run the risk of taking down your service
: provider's cellular network - and from what I've heard, this doesn't make them
: very happy.
: In summary - don't do it.
:   -- Leigh Anne Chisholm
:      Network Engineer
:      Applied Design Networks
: > -----Original Message-----
: > From: []On Behalf Of
: > Scott Weeks
: > Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2002 2:11 PM
: > To:
: > Subject: How do I log on while in flight?
: >
: > I was wondering if any of y'all could give me pointers to services I could
: > use to log into a network during flight on a private airplane. For example
: > a person is in flight cross-country and needs to do a videoconference,
: > send email from his network to interested parties, or any of the normal
: > things we do from the ground.  Is this possible or would it interfere with
: > the plane's other systems?
: >
: > scott

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