Customers Make VoIP Calls On American Airlines Flights

Less than a week after American Airlines introduced in-flight internet, hackers have already figured out how to use the system to make VoIP calls in a few easy steps with Phweet, a Twitter application. While the network blocks most VoIP services, Phweet can connect two people using a Flash app. Aircell, the company responsible for the system, is aware of the oversight, but it remains to be seen whether this little loophole will be fixed in a timely manner. Meanwhile, we encourage those of you who do fly on American Airlines to avoid making those phone calls; your neighbor would probably appreciate it.

[via Digg]

13 thoughts on “Customers Make VoIP Calls On American Airlines Flights

  1. this will then be blocked. then someone will find a workaround (vpn /
    ssh tunnel, alternate port etc etc). which will then be blocked.
    another workaround will be found. and so on.

    Oh, and AirCell’s homepage even says “Recpature your lost time by tapping into your office VPN…”.

  2. Are they serious? Apart from some idiot who feels the need to shout their conversation down the phone (granted, there are a lot of them), can someone please explain to me what the difference is between talking to someone on the phone and talking to the person next to you on the plane?

  3. I don’t see what the problem is, other than the fact that they won’t be able to charge you $100 a minute to use one of those phones that are right on the plane built into the front of your seat. GM is right, there will always be a workaround. If there WASN’T already phones by the seats, i’d understand since it must suck to hear someone blabbing on the phone while flying, but that’s nothing new, so what’s the problem ?

  4. I’ve never seen anyone use the phones in the seat – I assume because they are expensive. However, with free or cheap voip, all kinds of obnoxious conversations will be going on, half of them shouted because they think the other person can’t hear them. I appreciate the suggestion not to use it.

  5. i’m with dave. there isn’t any difference between talking to someone on a phone (besides the possibility you might be cut off and have the conversation end before the plane descends), and talking to someone in the seat next to you.

    so, please, just don’t speak on planes. or buses. or in public.

  6. I typically don’t/can’t use my laptop on the plane. The picture on the blog entry explains it all and that is with the seat in front of him in the UPright position. Try using it when the dude in front wants to recline the whole flight… It is a PITA! Progress is progress and they should let VOIP be used on the planes… people will regulate themselves. I run into loud people on the plane all the time and they are just talking to the people next to them. It won’t change a thing. It is a money making issue and not a courtesy issue.

  7. I’m with you, jay. I can go weeks without talking, so why can’t everyone else? It’s not as if they have anything important to say. “buy. sell. pink slip. pink slip.”

    is tunneling fast enough to hold a conversation?

  8. Fine yammer away, don’t take it personal if I bust a gut laughing at the hilarity of your conversation. Your voice is entering my space from a close range, making it difficult for me to zone out all the other din, I deserve to get something out of the deal even if it’s only low brow entertainment. Was a time mobile phones calls where short and to the point and not that annoying, but this need to reach out and touch some anywhere any time IS over the top.

  9. I can’t even open my 13″ laptop on the average flight unless I win the lottery and get one of the emergency exit seats. I’m 6’2″ and 250lbs.
    I would have a hard time not killing someone talking on the phone next to me. It is totally different to have a conversation with other passengers than to talk on a phone. When you talk to other passengers you are socializing and involving others. When you get on the phone you are saying “F#$@ everyone within 5 seats of me, I’m too cool for you.”
    Don’t be a prick. Put on your head phones, go to sleep, or talk to the person next to you.

  10. The difference between talking to people present and on the phone are rather obvious, and not only is there less talk but there are a shockingly large number of people that scream into cellphones, I hear theories about them not being able to figure out how to up the volume of the ear part and thinking that since they can’t hear it they need to shout too for the other end to hear them, but whatever the reason there’s a lot of people doing it.

  11. Impressive piece of information, let me elaborate more on VoIP. Voice over Internet Protocol has been around since many years. But due to lack of sufficient and affordable bandwidth it was not possible to carry carrier grade voice over Internet Protocol. But since the arrival of low cost internet bandwidth and new speech codecs such as G.729, G.723 which utilizes very low payload to carry carrier class voice it has recently been possible to leverage the true benefits of VoIP. G.723 codec utilizes only 6 Kbps (Kilo Bytes/sec) which is capable of maintaining a constant stream of data between peers and deliver carrier grade voice quality. Lets put this way if you have 8 Mbps internet connection, by using G.723 codec you can run upto 100 telephone lines with crystal clear and carrier grade voice quality. I am also a user of VoIP and have setup a small PBX at home. Since I have discovered VoIP I have never used traditional PSTN service.

    Dear readers, if you have not yet tried VoIP I suggest that you try VoIP technology and I bet you will never want to use the traditional PSTN phone service ever again. VoIP has far more superior features to offer which traditional PSTN sadly cannot offer.

    Also It has recently been possile to carry Video alongwith VoIP by using low payload video codecs. I cannot resist to tell you that by using T.38 passthrough and disabling VAD VoIP can carry FAX transmission, but beaware FAX T.38 passthrough will only work when using wide band protocols such as G.711, a-Law and u-Law.

    By using ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter) which converts VoIP signals into traditional PSTN you can also using Dial-up modems to connect to various dialup services. I wont go in to the details what VoIP can offer, to cut my story short VoIP is a must to have product for every business and individual.

    How VoIP Works

    When we make a VoIP call, a communication channel is established between caller and called party over IP (Internet Protocol) which runs on top of computer data networks. A telephony conversation that takes place over VoIP are converted into binary data packets streams in real time and transmitted over data network, when these data packets arrive at the destination these are again converted into standard telephony conversation. This whole process of voice conversion into data, transmission and data conversion into back voice conversation takes place within less than few milliseconds. That is how a VoIP is call is transmitted over data networks. I hope that now you understand basics of how a VoIP call takes place.

    What are speech codec’s and what role codec plays in VoIP?

    Speech codec play a vital role in VoIP and codec determines the quality and cost of the call. Let me explain you what exactly VoIP codec’s are and how they work. You may have heard about data compression, or probably you have heard about air compressor which compresses a volume of air in enclosed container, VoIP codec’s are no different than a air compressor. Speech codec’s compresses voice into data packets and decompresses it upon arrival at destination. Some VoIP codec’s can compress huge amount of voice while maintaining QoS which means use this type of codec will cost less because it will consume just a fraction of data network. Some codec’s are just not capable of encoding huge amount of voice they simply consume huge amount of data networks bandwidth hence the cost goes up.

    Following is a list of VoIP codec’s along with how much data network bandwidth they consume.

    * AMR Codec
    * BroadVoice Codec 16Kbps narrowband, and 32Kbps wideband
    * GIPS Family – 13.3 Kbps and up
    * GSM – 13 Kbps (full rate), 20ms frame size
    * iLBC – 15Kbps,20ms frame size: 13.3 Kbps, 30ms frame size
    * ITU G.711 – 64 Kbps, sample-based Also known as alaw/ulaw
    * ITU G.722 – 48/56/64 Kbps ADPCM 7Khz audio bandwidth
    * ITU G.722.1 – 24/32 Kbps 7Khz audio bandwidth (based on Polycom’s SIREN codec)
    * ITU G.722.1C – 32 Kbps, a Polycom extension, 14Khz audio bandwidth
    * ITU G.722.2 – 6.6Kbps to 23.85Kbps. Also known as AMR-WB. CELP 7Khz audio bandwidth
    * ITU G.723.1 – 5.3/6.3 Kbps, 30ms frame size
    * ITU G.726 – 16/24/32/40 Kbps
    * ITU G.728 – 16 Kbps
    * ITU G.729 – 8 Kbps, 10ms frame size
    * Speex – 2.15 to 44.2 Kbps
    * LPC10 – 2.5 Kbps
    * DoD CELP – 4.8 Kbps

    Switch to VoIP Today and you will never want to use traditional PSTN ever again.



Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.