Mobile data access coming soon to Australian airlines

A new ruling by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will open the door for carriers and airlines to introduce in-flight data usage on Australian domestic flights. This will effectively allow passengers to communicate via SMS, Facebook, Twitter and other connected services. As with services offered overseas, access will be provided through an on-board system, and communications between handsets and ground-based networks will still be prohibited.

The ruling raises a big question though – who will manage the in-flight network? So far Australia’s telecommunications are in agreement that passengers should not be forced to use any one carrier; however technical limitations may make a multi-carrier offering impossible. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has also weighed in on the discussion, stating that a single-carrier option is acceptable if other options compromise safety. Whatever the outcome, the one thing that’s certain is that in-flight mobile service won’t come cheap – up to ten times what they pay for ground-based services.

The Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) was consulted on prior to the ruling and raised no objections.

Source: smh.com.au

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I have my phone on everytime I'm about to jump out of an airplane, hasn't managed to not let one take off or crash while in flight.

So why have they told us for so many years that having your mobile on during flight is bad and causes interference with the plane?

In another article an official replied to a similar question was that the in-plane transmission cell is not as powerful as a ground based tower... except microwaves from ground based towers are always penetrating all space all the time... yet planes manage to fly fine.

Can't they admit they based rules on ignorance and haven't gone back on them to not lose face?

Your phone won't work at 10 000 m above the middle of no-where anyway. Mobile phones adjust their power output based on the signal strength of the nearest cell, if that cell is on the plane the amount of power is very small.

TFA doesn't mention using your existing hardware, but hardware on the back of passenger seats that uses the plane-bourne gateway that already exists. This new hardware will be EMI tested for compatibility with the fleets. The same way that the ACMA has austick for anything connected to an Australian telecommunications network (like the FCC in the US). Basically your mobile phone hasn't been certified for transmitting during in-flight operations, thus why you can use flight-mode where all transmitters are turned off.

Some of the domestic services in Australia are loud, chatty, and squished like a bus as it is, no need to make it worse by introducing new rules that let's people also talk on the phone.

smithy_dll said,
Some of the domestic services in Australia are loud, chatty, and squished like a bus as it is, no need to make it worse by introducing new rules that let's people also talk on the phone.

I have no interest using calling/texting on a plane. Just that there is no basis for not allowing mobiles on planes or at petrol stations etc.