In-Flight Cell Phone Calls a Reality
The service, which is only being tested on Air France's short-haul A318 aircraft, works by having an antenna run the length of the plane. Calls and data transmissions made on board are sent to a satellite, then beamed back down to ground. In-flight calls are expected to cost $2.50, while a price has yet to be announced for emails and text messages.
So what of all that fuss about cell phones and other wireless devices interfering with a plane's navigational systems? In 2004, the FCC and FAA began testing cell phones on planes, but to date has been unable to determine if they pose any danger or not. According to Computer World, the ban is still in place in the U.S. for a variety of reasons, chiefly politics and concerns that in-flight calls could cause technical troubles for cell networks on the ground.
From Silicon.com and Gizmodo