Just read an article from It Wire about how Australia is gearing up to allow in-flight mobile phone use, although passengers will likely be limited to GPRS and SMS. Hey, that's a good start, Australia!
US lawmakers, do you still think your Hang-Up legislation is a good idea? Honestly? Come on. Think!!!
Some key pars from the story but please read the whole thing:
The ACMA is proposing new spectrum licensing rules that would enable airlines to offer mobile phone services in-flight, but these are likely to be limited to SMS and GPRS data - Australian airlines aren't keen to offer voice services.
In practice such a service would be implemented via a small cellular base station, a picocell, installed on board the aircraft along with a control unit. Communication with the outside world would be via a satellite link.
The control unit would block most of the frequencies normally used by mobile phones, preventing them from communications directly with terrestrial cellular networks and would force them to use one of a handful of specific bands to communicate with the picocell.
The ACMA has already amended prohibitions on the use of mobile phone jammers to allow for operation of the control unit and has now issued a discussion paper looking at various options for licensing the spectrum that an in-flight mobile service would use. Submissions are due by 29 January 2010.