walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

CHANGE IS BAD, airline tracking edition

http://money.cnn.com/2014/12/29/technology/missing-airasia-flight-live-stream/index.html

I'm looking mostly at the comments here, because I'm sort of fascinated by the idea that people are arguing about tracking airliners over oceans.

vbscript2 sez:

"It's not a trivial amount of traffic when it's tens of thousands of aircraft all using satellite uplinks. Most in-flight wi-fi systems (all of them that I've ever been on a plane with) connect to ground-based towers, not satellites, as it's generally cheaper and faster. I think some airlines may be exploring (or perhaps even already have in service?) systems that use satellite links for over-water flights, though. I would assume that, even once such systems are in operation, the vast majority of flights would still use connections to the ground to the maximum extent possible, though, as it's much cheaper, requires much less power, and wastes less RF spectrum."

That was (at the time I write this) 4 days ago. Hey, what is going on with JetBlue's Fly-Fi?

http://www.jetblue.com/flying-on-jetblue/wifi/

They are bragging about their Ka band satellite technology and how it is better than ground to air or Ku band. So there's that. I really, really, really do understand that some parts of the world have better satellite coverage than others. I do. But that's not what vbscript2 is arguing. It's arguing that "all of them that I've been on a plane with" connect to ground and extrapolating from there that none are using satellite systems.

But hey, why look at a US airline? Let's try something a bit closer to the area under the microscope.

http://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/flying-with-us/connectivity/

They are at least offering satellite phone. One of their providers is OnAir.

http://www.onair.aero/en/commercial-airlines-how-it-works

"OnAir uses Inmarsat's SwiftBroadband (SBB) latest generation satellite services. Using the SBB technology, we deliver high-speed, high-capacity voice and data solutions with the world's best international coverage."

Honestly, losing a flight in this area because of lack of satellite reporting of location while OTHER flights in this area are offering wifi (true, for a kind of amazing fee if you are on the volume based plan) via satellite ... well, you want to talk inequality, THAT is inequality. The movement to require location reporting via satellite every 15 minutes is essentially a global middle class being all righteously angry about the conditions for the poors. Especially when it starts impacting the middle class. Generally speaking, arguing _against_ one of these reform movements (you know, taking the anti-abolition side) is a bad idea. However, occasionally, you look smart later on (anti-prohibition). Only time will tell.
Tags: our future economy today
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