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Monday, July 11, 2005

Coming soon: cell-phone service on airliners

This story has me torn. On one hand, I have a pretty libertarian view on freedom of expression. On the other hand, maybe we ought to have summary executions for people who talk on cell phones when they should sit down and shut up:
Germany's Siemens has joined forces with an Airbus joint venture to develop technology that will make ordinary mobile-phone calls possible for passengers in flight by 2006, the companies said on Monday. Siemens will supply lightweight on-board base stations for the GSM mobile network and channel selectors that will ensure mobile calls do not interfere with aircraft systems or mobile networks on the ground. Airbus, which is 80-percent owned by European aerospace giant EADS, will build the technology into its existing electronics systems, market it to airlines and maintain it.
OnAir said aircraft crew would be able to switch the on-board mobile-phone system into different modes, such as text-only, to ensure quiet times in the cabin.
That's good, anyway.

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