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Re: REFLECTOR: cell phones through audio panel

As has been debated QUITE THOROUGHLY IN rec.aviation.piloting lately,
only cellphones operating in the AMPS-band governed by FCC Part 22 are
proscribed from using air-ground communications (with the exception of
GTE Airphone, probably exempted in Subpart H, I haven't looked it up). 
All others in the 800-900 MHz band are not permitted to be used as soon
as the wheels leave the ground.

FCC Part 24 is the governing authority for PCS (1900-MHz) and has no
such restrictions.  Some cell-phone and PCS-system employees have posted
the tecnical details why PCS is able to negotiate air communications
better than analog, without any disturbance to communications in the
area, but I don't remember all the details.

Of course, it is still at the PIC's discretion what to allow and what to
not allow on any particular flight, and besides PCS coverage from a
commercial airliner is spotty at best.

Even for private a/c use, some services (such as AT&T) specifically
disallow use in the air (perhaps because all their phones are
dual-band?), while others claim that their service specifically allowed

My feeling is, if you have a PCS-only phone or can lock out analog on
your dual-band PCS phone, that use in a private a/c is perfectly legal,
and if you stick to flight within a reasonable distance of the coverage
areas (usually the Interstate highway system) you might get usable

I haven't tried it yet, but I will.

-john rourke

Jeff Barnes wrote:
> Cell phones ARE illegal (or should be) at all times for any reason from
> the air.
> Many postings on Canard-Aviators list from around Jan-Feb '98, the
> bottom line is it really screws up the cell system within whatever
> transmission range the offending phone has.  Cell-switching logic is
> based on signal strength and phone location: an airborne phone ends up
> walking over other phone connections because of greater signal strength
> and location ambiguity.
> Imagine someone with car trouble or a serious 911 situation and they get
> cut off by some pilot or passenger on a commercial flight calling home
> to tell the wife he'll be a few minutes late for dinner.
> That's why it's a definite no-no.  Perfectly legal to use up until your
> airborne or right after you land.  NOT on commercial though, cuz they
> may/may not have their own problems with your phone interfering their
> electronics, or more likely, just don't want your phone flying around in
> a ground taxi accident, etc.
> As for inflight stuff, has anybody checked out Motorola's new satellite
> (Iridium) system or whatever Dick Rutan & Mike Melville used on around
> the world flight (C-Sat?)?  There's also a new company/network trying to
> start-up...I think I saw a booth at SNF...escapes me rite now.
> Regards,
> Jeff Barnes
> XL-RG a-buildin' real slow
> Ron Needham wrote:
> >
> > I heard the same but not sure why.
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: David Brown <velcty@earthlink.net>
> > To: reflector@awpi.com <reflector@awpi.com>
> > Date: Sunday, May 09, 1999 9:19 PM
> > Subject: Re: REFLECTOR: cell phones through audio panel
> >
> > >At 08:58 PM 5/9/99 -0400, you wrote:
> > >>Does anyone know if one can hook up a cell phone through your audio panel
> > >>using a "hands free" setup?  I think it would be useful.  Also, which type
> > >>of phone would be better in flight, analog or digital?
> > >
> > >I had heard use of cell phones is prohibited from the air.
> > >Could be wrong though.
> > >
> > >Dave Brown
> > >
> > >