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rec.aviation FAQ
Section - cellular telephones and airplanes

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Q16:  Can I use my cellular telephone in an airplane?

A:   FCC regulations effective March 9, 1992 state that:
     o  Cellular phone use while airborne is illegal.  Regulations permit
        cellular phone companies to cut off service of violators.
     o  Cellular phone use on the ground is legal, as far as the FCC is
        concerned.  Of course, FAA regulations still apply; for private
        flights this isn't a big deal, for airline flights the FAA is
        apparently making guidelines on when to allow cellular phone use.
     Further info is in the Federal Register, vol. 57, pages 830-831.

|    Cellular radio service includes 900 MHz systems. PCS services in the
|    1.8 GHz band are governed by different rules, and operation is not
|    prohibited in aircraft by FCC rules. However, in practice, most newer
|    cellular and PCS systems utilize antennas which don't radiate upwards
|    so the phone simply won't work in the air.

|    Air Cell, Inc. (http://www.aircell.com) has an airborne cellular system
|    which is being rolled out in the US; it utilizes special cell phone
|    equipment in the $4-7K range and costs about $1.75/minute to use.

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM