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Old 16-12-2013, 13:21   #46
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Re: FCC and In Flight calls

I predict if the FCC gives it the thumbs up the airlines will do it. They are going to find a way to make a buck.
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Old 16-12-2013, 14:42   #47
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Sounds like most of the bumfluff is right here. If RyanAir allowed it, it was an attempt to get a competitive advantage in the absence of public safety regulation by the Irish authorities. In unreined private enterprise, money trumps potential safety concerns every time.

I'm the retired former chief of the research branch of the FCC Laboratory and an electrical engineer with 43 years of experience in radio frequency spectrum management. Any spectrum management professional knows that ANY device that emits radio frequency energy -- whether intentionally or not -- has some potential to interfere with the proper functioning of any other electronic device, particularly digital electronics sharing the same tight environment. The degree of risk has a lot to do with how much power is emitted, the proximity in both space and frequency, and details of the design of both the emitting and victim device, but it is never zero. Worst-case spectrum management issues probably occur on modern warships, but an airliner can't be too far down the list. Good design of both the emitting device and the victim systems can mitigate the risk.

The recent developments at the FCC indicate to me that the designs of both cellphones and aircraft systems have now been refined to the point where most experts concur that the risk of serious interference is insignificant. The nuisance factor of onboard cellphone use is another matter entirely.

RF interference is not bumfluff. I distinctly recall one particular case that the FCC field people had to investigate about 25 years ago in which a passenger ferry rammed the dock in Washington state injuring a number of people because the automated docking system was interfered with by a vending machine on board -- a freakin' vending machine, for crissakes!
No I don't think that's reading it right. European Aviation Safety Agency I believe had allowed in flight GsM microcells for some time . It's cuurently debating removing the restriction on turning off devices that are in " flight" mode during take off and landing

( its not an Irish issue by the way. It's controlled like most things, on a European basis )

I beleive the technical issues have been gone since the introduction of modern all digital cell phones. The regulators or more correctly the FCC are only now recognising that fact. The issue went away technically years ago.

Dave
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Old 16-12-2013, 14:44   #48
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Yeah, but it's not the same (I know from tapping phones as part of my job). It was impossible to have a bad tap and only get one side of a land line. It frequently happens to us with cell phones because of the different way they are set up. The cell phone company will tell us we are hooked up, but we only get one side of the call and have to call them back and tell them to do it again.

I admit I don't know all of the science behind it, I just know they are wired completely differently (and part of it is the analog vs. digital thing).
The effect whether created digitally or originally as a function of the microphone and speaker being on the same circuit is still sidetone. In modem cellphones the speakers voice is replayed in the earpiece.

Hence it has nothing to do with why people spread loudly on a cell phone lol

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Old 16-12-2013, 14:46   #49
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Re: FCC and In Flight calls

dan-
They can having that p*ssing fight between themselves, not my job to play Solomon over who Congress put in charge.
My view on it is that if a load of 600mW radios inside the plane can bring it down, wait till the bad guys find out how easy it is, and then do something ridiculously simple like point high power transmitters at it from the outside. Yeah, faraday cage blah blah...if the electronics are so sensitive, there's still a problem.

The other side of the coin is the cellular system, and I understand that if my phone hits a hundred towers at once (because it is so elevated) that the system may not be able to figure out how to hand off the call. That's bs too, I call that "a trivial matter of programming" and of course note that apparently all the competent programmers left this planet some time ago. The tales you hear from the cell phone industry, all of the cell phone industry, make used car salesmen seem like good candidates for Pope.


I can understand how a mess of insecure people try to validate themselves by yakking on the phone all the time, but maybe...is it just me? I mean, am I giving away the Masonic Handshake when I say that really important people have people to answer the phone for them? Let the secret out, if you're important, you don't need to be on the phone.
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Old 16-12-2013, 15:03   #50
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dan-
They can having that p*ssing fight between themselves, not my job to play Solomon over who Congress put in charge.
My view on it is that if a load of 600mW radios inside the plane can bring it down, wait till the bad guys find out how easy it is, and then do something ridiculously simple like point high power transmitters at it from the outside. Yeah, faraday cage blah blah...if the electronics are so sensitive, there's still a problem.

The other side of the coin is the cellular system, and I understand that if my phone hits a hundred towers at once (because it is so elevated) that the system may not be able to figure out how to hand off the call. That's bs too, I call that "a trivial matter of programming" and of course note that apparently all the competent programmers left this planet some time ago. The tales you hear from the cell phone industry, all of the cell phone industry, make used car salesmen seem like good candidates for Pope.

I can understand how a mess of insecure people try to validate themselves by yakking on the phone all the time, but maybe...is it just me? I mean, am I giving away the Masonic Handshake when I say that really important people have people to answer the phone for them? Let the secret out, if you're important, you don't need to be on the phone.
Since I know GSM, let me say that hand off speed is not a matter of " programming " gsm has fundamental timing windows that allow about a maximum speed of about 300km of the mobile device. so while " in theory " starting from scratch , you could build a system that might work from the ground to inside the aluminium tube that is an aircraft , it's not going to happen.

While I'm sure that a small section of people feel the need to validate themselves , the fact is that people today are connected virtually 24/7 and airlines see an opportunity to make money , no more then my local bus has wifi routers , my internstional passenger ferry recently to france had a wifi & GSM and my train journey equally had wifi.

And besides if I has to listen to people taking away on a three hour train journey, I see no reason you should be spared it on a flight LOL.

anyway I suspect no ones interested in voice , all every ones wants is wifi or 3G data on board a flight , voice is soooo " eighties"

Dave
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Old 16-12-2013, 18:03   #51
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Re: FCC and In Flight calls

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
dan-
They can having that p*ssing fight between themselves, not my job to play Solomon over who Congress put in charge.
My view on it is that if a load of 600mW radios inside the plane can bring it down, wait till the bad guys find out how easy it is, and then do something ridiculously simple like point high power transmitters at it from the outside. Yeah, faraday cage blah blah...if the electronics are so sensitive, there's still a problem.

The other side of the coin is the cellular system, and I understand that if my phone hits a hundred towers at once (because it is so elevated) that the system may not be able to figure out how to hand off the call. That's bs too, I call that "a trivial matter of programming" and of course note that apparently all the competent programmers left this planet some time ago. The tales you hear from the cell phone industry, all of the cell phone industry, make used car salesmen seem like good candidates for Pope.


I can understand how a mess of insecure people try to validate themselves by yakking on the phone all the time, but maybe...is it just me? I mean, am I giving away the Masonic Handshake when I say that really important people have people to answer the phone for them? Let the secret out, if you're important, you don't need to be on the phone.
No offense, but your wrong on this. I have done that 'trivial programming' and it isn't trivial at all. It isn't programming as much as RF engineering. There are many RF tweaks that must be implemented with the 'trivial programming' that makes it handle the call how you want it to. You also have to do real time verification of those parameter settings. I guess the cellphone carriers can just send performance engineers on quick flights to check the handoffs and coverage. There are many variables which will cause problems, specifically frequency, vehicle speed, antenna beamwidth, & interference that initially come to mind. What happens when you are a customer of one carrier over one city, place your call and it gets handled by your home carrier while at the same time, you have sufficient signal to a different company's signal in a nearby area on the same frequency band? Two or more totally different networks trying to complete your call -More trivial programming?

Why bother with trivial programming when the option is already there? Small Cells and FEMTO cells solve the interference issues ( which are massive), eliminates the complicated parameter tweaks necessary for decent service, and actually covers the airplane cabin. The only drawback is the data latency on satellite links.
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Old 16-12-2013, 18:22   #52
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Re: FCC and In Flight calls

El Rubio-
I don't mean to say all the issues are trivial or that the laws of physics aren't to be considered. But once one accounts for how the laws of physics seem to be operating locally, there are still issues with how any cell system handles the calls. And those issues often come down to "We don't want to spend money on...." from the carriers, rather than limits of the technology. Which each of them prefers to keep proprietary and incompatible with everything and everyone else anyway.

They prefer to throw FUD at everything, and my point is only that if the systems can be improved, it often requires only competent programming. Which is actually damned hard to find these days. Case in point: the IRS threw out years of "reprogramming" not so long ago, and now Healthcare.gov is still losing, transposing, and corrupting data. ROTFLMAO, because there's really no excuse for what is accepted as "competent" programming these days. Three guys will say "impossible" three more will say "very difficult, very expensive, but we can do it" and then the next guy will say "Give me an hour or two, and how would you like the display?" and just DO IT.

Or, as the column in Scientific American used to say, the rest is "just a simple exercise left to the reader". (It usually was anything but simple.)

So, yes, trivial programming. The programmers can't change physics, but they certainly could give me a busy signal instead of routing a call to voice mail when the circuits were busy. Choices like that are simply not even offered to the rubes, because a busy signal is free, but a voicemail gains airtime charges not just once, but twice.

"HEY RUBE!"

They can do better. They just don't want to.
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Old 16-12-2013, 18:52   #53
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Re: FCC and In Flight calls

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No I don't think that's reading it right. European Aviation Safety Agency I believe had allowed in flight GsM microcells for some time . It's cuurently debating removing the restriction on turning off devices that are in " flight" mode during take off and landing

( its not an Irish issue by the way. It's controlled like most things, on a European basis )

I beleive the technical issues have been gone since the introduction of modern all digital cell phones. The regulators or more correctly the FCC are only now recognising that fact. The issue went away technically years ago.

Dave
Regardless of whether RyanAir is regulated by Ireland or the EU (beats me), the technical issue knows no international borders.

The difference is likely in the judgement of the pertinent regulatory bodies... the European regulators may simply be less conservative when it comes to such matters than the FCC as to what degree of interference presents a danger. Different regulatory bodies have different policies on lots of things, and they aren't obliged to harmonize their regulations if they don't want to.

The technical issue didn't "go away." It's as much a fact of life as any of the laws of physics (which certainly pertain). The risk has been mitigated by improvements to both phones and aircraft systems, but some finite risk is still there and always will be. It's all a matter of how much risk is considered acceptable.

The chances of someone causing an explosion at a gas station by running their engine while filling their gas tank is pretty miniscule as well. Would you care to be the regulator who decrees that it is now OK to do so?
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Old 16-12-2013, 23:14   #54
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Re: FCC and In Flight calls

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So you won't be able to talk with your SO in the seat next to you because some slob needs to scream into his/her importance-phone ?
Maybe that's blessing?
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Old 16-12-2013, 23:21   #55
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Re: FCC and In Flight calls

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Maybe that's blessing?
I feel for you my friend.



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Old 16-12-2013, 23:28   #56
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Re: FCC and In Flight calls

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I feel for you my friend.
In my case it is not that bad. After 10 years of marriage we don't need to TALK to understand each other.
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Old 16-12-2013, 23:31   #57
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Re: FCC and In Flight calls

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In my case it is not that bad. After 10 years of marriage we don't need to TALK to understand each other.
After 35 we don't either, but we still do it to enjoy ourselves.



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Old 17-12-2013, 12:35   #58
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Re: FCC and In Flight calls

Not to worry, if the person next to me just HAS TO shout on the cellphone, I'll just have to listen to the "UH UH UH" sound track looped from a porn movie. On speakerphone. Right? That should be an interesting ride.

A little ingenuity might address the problem.

Meanwhile, perhaps no one is aware that many folks tend to raise their voices on cell phones because cell phones lack the audio feedback (the sound of your own voice in the speaker/earset) that regular phones have. I'm told this was a limit of the early technology and cell phone makers simply have not changed that, although they easily could.

Ma Bell, clever old witch. May she rest in peace, she did many good things.
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Old 17-12-2013, 12:44   #59
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Re: FCC and In Flight calls

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Sorry so why did one of the worlds largest Airlines , Ryanair , have no problem allowing a whole plane to use mobile phones.

The interference issue is just bumfluff

Dave
Cellphones modulate their output power, using the minimum required. When you put a cellphone in a plane, and the basestation is 30,000 ft away, it goes ape and outputs maximum transmitter power. If you install a basestation in the plane, the phones only use enough power to contact the basestation, perhaps feet away - very little.

Interference issues are very rare, but do happen. This is a case of putting convenience before safety, have no doubts.
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Old 17-12-2013, 12:49   #60
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Originally Posted by Ukeluthier View Post

Regardless of whether RyanAir is regulated by Ireland or the EU (beats me), the technical issue knows no international borders.

The difference is likely in the judgement of the pertinent regulatory bodies... the European regulators may simply be less conservative when it comes to such matters than the FCC as to what degree of interference presents a danger. Different regulatory bodies have different policies on lots of things, and they aren't obliged to harmonize their regulations if they don't want to.

The technical issue didn't "go away." It's as much a fact of life as any of the laws of physics (which certainly pertain). The risk has been mitigated by improvements to both phones and aircraft systems, but some finite risk is still there and always will be. It's all a matter of how much risk is considered acceptable.

The chances of someone causing an explosion at a gas station by running their engine while filling their gas tank is pretty miniscule as well. Would you care to be the regulator who decrees that it is now OK to do so?
I know Ryanair like all airlines is regulated by the European flight safety agency. But that's beside the point.

What I was trying to say, that the risk is obviously very small if a major safety agency controlling one of the busiest air spaces in the world feels that the phones can be allowed. Te fact that the FCC is only now dealing with the issue is more then not , nothing to do with the technology , merely bureaucratic delay. I fully expect the FCC will allow under a set of rules micro cells on board aircraft in US airspace.

No more then finally ABYC finally cottoned on to whole boat RCDs

Dave
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