“U.S. telecommunications regulators are poised to follow aviation officials in permitting wider use of smartphones by airline passengers — and not just for e-mail, spreadsheets and Angry Birds,” Todd Shields, Olga Kharif and Alan Levin report for Bloomberg News.

“Voice calls via mobile phones would be allowed aboard planes under a Federal Communications Commission proposal announced yesterday. Even if the move wins approval, it would still need buy-in from airlines and passengers, who may be less tolerant of seatmates’ conversations than of Internet surfing,” Shields, Kharif and Levin report. “‘On the plane, I don’t think people will appreciate their neighbor yapping for hours and hours,’ Chetan Sharma, an independent wireless analyst based in Issaquah, Washington, said in an interview.”

“FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal would end a ban put in place because of potential interference to wireless networks on the ground,” Shields, Kharif and Levin report. “The Consumer Electronics Association, which represents makers of smartphones and tablet computers, praised the FCC proposal as a ‘pro-consumer’ move. Even so, the Arlington, Virginia-based group said in a statement that any rules change “should not negate general common courtesies… Engaging in phone conversations in flight may prove technically feasible but many may find it socially undesirable,’ the CEA said.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
U.S. FCC to propose allowing cellphone use on airplanes – November 21, 2013