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Cell phones work on an airplane

Posted By: technopediasite

Cell phones work on an airplane

How high in the air can a cell phone work?

Despite the urgings of flight crews to turn off all phones or put them in airplane mode, cell phones can continue to work after a plane takes off, but only while in range of a cellular tower.

Cell phones communicate through cell towers, which are located on the ground but can stretch hundreds of feet into the air. As an airplane rises, it gets further from these towers and eventually moves out of contact range. For efficiency, many towers are designed to direct their signal where its most useful: on the ground, not into the sky above. So still  facility  of cell phone communication during the journey is impossible. 

The maximum distance at which a phone can still make calls and send texts varies depending on the type of tower and transmitter, but an airplane would have to be no more than 10,000 feet in the air for any cell phones on board to still have a signal.

When flying over sparsely populated rural areas, nearby towers are fewer and farther between. Over the open ocean, there are no towers all all with which to communicate, making phone calls, texts and social media posts impossible.

Speed can also make maintaining a cellular connection difficult, as a device has to switch from tower to tower to maintain a connection. A plane would have to be going 155 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour) or less for phones in cell tower range to make or receive calls. The metal body of an airplane can also impede cellular service.

Cell phone in airplane mode still communicate??

It is impossible to send or receive communications while in full airplane mode. On some phones, it is possible to turn WiFi back on while in airplane mode to take advantage of any on-board wireless networks, or to reactivate Bluetooth to hook up to any compatible devices. Neither setting would communicate with a cell tower on the ground, though.

In India Jet Airways on Friday launched an in-flight entertainment service under the 'JetScreen' label that allows fliers to stream 220 hours of digital content on smartphones, tablets or laptops for free.The airline claims the service is a first in the industry for domestic carriers and comes close on the heels of the civil aviation ministry hinting at allowing onboard Wi-Fi access. But this is not cell phone facilities during the flight.

What is airplane mode/ Flight Mode??

Airplane mode is a setting on smartphones and tablets that turns off most or all of a mobile device’s wireless communication features. This includes shutting down cellular connections, WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth so that no calls, messages or data can be sent or received.This setting has different names depending on the device and operating system, but is present on all smartphones.

Do phones communicate with towers when not in use??

A cell phone not set to airplane mode could still automatically connect to cellular base stations when in the proper range.All mobile generate a continuous signals & background phone tasks such as location services, e-mail and other things that push through notifications are always attempting to connect and send and receive information. BTS & cell phone always in contacts.Any attempted connections or pings would be recorded by mobile operators.

Airlines offer in flight WiFi

Some airplanes offer in flight wireless connections that can be used to connect to the Internet and make calls and send texts using services such as Skype and WhatsApp. There are different technologies for bringing WiFi to airplanes.Some use special mobile broadband cell towers on the ground that are flipped to point into the air. Satellite technology can be used to get signals where there are no ground towers.If the inflight entertainment system is turned off, phones and other devices cannot use these wireless connections.

Some flights going to allow calls in the air

Recently, the FAA loosened its rules for using cellular devices on airplanes. Many airlines now allow you to use tablets and smartphones during take-off and landing as long as they are in airplane mode. It is also considering allowing cell phone calls in the air.To make that possible, airplanes would need to be equipped with specialized miniature base stations called picocells. Those base stations would relay any cellular signals through satellites or cell towers on the ground that are already set up to work with airplanes.

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