By Sara Kehaulani Goo and Keith L. Alexander
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, April 8, 2005; Page E01
"At 30,000 feet a phone may have difficulty sending a signal to a tower on the ground. Most cell phones can't reach a station from beyond 10,000 feet, said Roger Entner, an analyst with research firm Ovum Ltd."
"Another technical hurdle is to find a way that cell phone calls would be handed off from one cell tower to another on the ground when the aircraft is traveling at 500 miles an hour. The handoff is fairly simple when the speaker is walking or driving, but at aircraft speed calls would likely be dropped."
"In suburban areas, sites are commonly spaced 2-3 km apart, and in dense urban areas, sites may be as close as 500-1000 meters apart."
1.24 to 1.864 miles range
"And a carrier's coverage is a network of cell sites, each with a tower and base station controller for a range of about 10 square miles."
Area of a circle = 3.14 * r (squared)
10 square miles = 3.14 * 1.7846 miles (squared)
Distance from a cell tower covered = 1.8 miles