# Why not use cell towers for ATC communication?

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#### StarJar

##### Well-Known Member
All across the USA we have cell towers, that handle millions of calls. It seems that it would be a small additional load to use them for general aviation.
A way to do it would be that the towers, and flight facilities, would have a dual system that can recieve and transmit calls through existing air frequencies, or through cell towers.
If a GA plane is only flown domestically, then maybe it could have only a 'cell' transmitter/reciever.
I may have easily not considered something so, would like to hear ideas or info, that would take either side of the argument.
I'm hoping for kind a brainstorming thread, so crazy ideas and observations would be acceptable, (untill shot down hard).

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#### Pops

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
We don't have cell towers all over the USA. There is a lot of area in my state that does not have cell phone service. I live in a county of 5000+ people and not one stop light in the county. I also live at the edge of 22K acres of woods. Over 25 down aircraft that has never been found.

Dan

#### JamesG

##### Well-Known Member
Aviation already has its own reserved frequencies and an established install base of radio sets that are "certified" for use by aviation (all the Is dotted and Ts crossed). Getting equipment that rides on the cellular phone networks to that same level would take a lot of time and expense that I don't think anyone can afford, least of all the FAA.

That said, on more than one occasion it has been necessary to place an airborne call to an airfield manager's cell phone to remind him (wake him up) that he had arriving traffic that day.

#### StarJar

##### Well-Known Member
We don't have cell towers all over the USA. There is a lot of area in my state that does not have cell phone service. I live in a county of 5000+ people and not one stop light in the county. I also live at the edge of 22K acres of woods. Over 25 down aircraft that has never been found.

Dan
That's one of the things I was wondering about. But looking at AT&T coverage area, it looks like over 90% of the land mass is covered, and that doesn't include the better reception you might get with a little altitude.
The uncovered areas are in very remote areas, and could be easily avoided, if desired.

#### Matt G.

##### Well-Known Member
That's one of the things I was wondering about. But looking at AT&T coverage area, it looks like over 90% of the land mass is covered, and that doesn't include the better reception you might get with a little altitude.
The uncovered areas are in very remote areas, and could be easily avoided, if desired.
By your logic, most of Kansas, where I fly, would be considered a "remote area" by AT&T. I have Verizon for my cell phone because I want it to work if I land my glider out in the middle of nowhere. Even then, my phone does not work 100% of the time.

What's wrong with the current system? This would be one of those, "it isn't broke, so let's keep trying" things, in my opinion...

#### StarJar

##### Well-Known Member
By your logic, most of Kansas, where I fly, would be considered a "remote area" by AT&T. I have Verizon for my cell phone because I want it to work if I land my glider out in the middle of nowhere. Even then, my phone does not work 100% of the time.

What's wrong with the current system? This would be one of those, "it isn't broke, so let's keep trying" things, in my opinion...
Cheaper radios, for one thing. A modified cell is all the plane would need.