Reasons to Avoid Using Satellite Communication on an Airplane
September 11, 2023

Reasons to Avoid Using Satellite Communication on an Airplane

The Huawei Mate 60 series is the latest phone equipped with satellite communication capabilities. Along with the iPhone 14, Huawei has included support for voice satellite communication. This feature can be useful in situations where there is no mobile signal and you happen to get lost.

Kuai Technology reports that satellite communication can be used not only in remote areas and mountains but also in airplanes. However, using phones, especially for satellite communication, can compromise flight safety, as reminded by one of the leaders at Huawei.

Why is phone usage not allowed during flights?

Existing mobile communication systems rely on base stations to transmit signals from one point to another. Since there are no base stations in the aircraft cabin, phones will use maximum power to search for a base station. This process can create signals that interfere with the flight process.

Aircraft communication and navigation systems receive signals from several hundred kilometers away, making them highly sensitive. The functioning of these systems can be affected by mobile phones.

Distance measuring equipment (DME) is one of the key navigation systems, along with GPS and inertial navigation. It is the most sensitive to the operation of mobile phones. The operating frequency of GPS is 1.1-1.5 GHz, while the DME system operates at 900-1000 MHz, which is relatively close to the 1 GHz frequency of the mobile communication network. This proximity can cause interference from mobile phones.