ACMA to allow in-flight mobile phone use

Regulatory body has been testing an in-flight GSM transmission system for 18 months, but there's just one problem – the technology is currently illegal.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority [ACMA] has proposed amending the law to allow the in-flight use of mobile phones.

ACMA has confirmed that it is safe to use specially designed in-flight GSM transmission technology, after conducting tests for around 18 months.

The technology jams certain mobile signals which have been known to cause problems with planes' internal computers.

Unfortunately, under Australian law jamming mobile phone signals is prohibited by the Mobile Phone Jammer Prohibition Act.

ACMA has proposed amending the law to allow the use of pico-cell jamming technology on in-flight mobile phone systems.

"Australia led the world when it trialled in-flight GSM mobile phone services in 2007," ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman said in a statement.

"There is growing recognition by regulators worldwide that in-flight mobile phone services can be deployed without interference to existing telecommunications services."

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Dylan Bushell-Embling

Computerworld
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