Date: 01 Jul 98 02:42:15 From: Robert Courteau <email@example.com> Organization: CAE Electronics, Montreal References: 1 Followups: 1
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Tina wrote: >A friend sent me E-mail on his laptop from "somewhere over the >Atlantic". I know others who claim they have connected to the Internet >in-flight. As far as I understand the technology, connecting to a >network on a laptop works the same way as dialing on a mobile phone >(doesn't it?). > >Why, then do airlines ask passengers to switch off mobile phones for the >entire flight but PCs are to be switched off ONLY for take off and >landing? If using mobile phones can interfere with flight systems, >doesn't the same apply for PCMCIA cards? What about airlines that offer >onboard fax services & such...? Your friend was probably using his laptop (legal above 10,000 ft), and connecting to the seatback in-flight telephone service, which uses satellite communications (not cellphone technology) to link to the ground phone network. So you can indeed e-mail, fax, or surf the Net - provided you are ready to spend many dollars a minute doing so.