T Nation

How Do Cell Phones Work?

I know this is dumb, but how do they work really? Do they work above 8,000 feet, like from an airplane?

Thanks in advance for any helpful info.

Don’t know what you need, so…

Yes, they do work at that altitude - there’s a small chance that they can interfere with a plane’s navigation systems. Also, when you’re up that high and moving that fast, you might be using many different cell phone towers during one call - making it hard for the phone company to bill/reimburse properly.

Witchcraft

I’m pretty sure its magic,or a proton accelorator.

I’ll be damned. Look what was the very first thing that came up on a Google search of “How do cell phones work?”

[quote]Standndeliver wrote:
I know this is dumb, [/quote]

Got that right!

You should try to be more specific. Which mobile phone system are you referring to? Which layers are you interested in understanding?

Anyway, here’s something anyone can understand about phones on airplanes.

I don’t know if your question is related to this event, but yesterday, the European commission OK’ed the use of GSM devices on planes.

http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/apr2008/gb2008047_460870.htm

[quote]lixy wrote:
Standndeliver wrote:
I know this is dumb,

Got that right!

You should try to be more specific. Which mobile phone system are you referring to? Which layers are you interested in understanding?

Anyway, here’s something anyone can understand about phones on airplanes.

I don’t know if your question is related to this event, but yesterday, the European commission OK’ed the use of GSM devices on planes.

http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/apr2008/gb2008047_460870.htm [/quote]

Here’s an interesting take on cell phones:

“We also know that wireless communications networks weren’t designed for ground-to-air communication. Cellular experts privately admit that they’re surprised the calls were able to be placed from the hijacked planes, and that they lasted as long as they did. They speculate that the only reason that the calls went through in the first place is that the aircraft were flying so close to the ground.”

http://www.elliott.org/technology/2001/cellpermit.htm