Most Germans don′t want mobile calls on flights | Science| In-depth reporting on science and technology | DW | 01.02.2011
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Most Germans don't want mobile calls on flights

In a new survey, 55 percent of respondents said they don't want mobile phones in use on planes. The IT industry trade group study also revealed that younger Germans tended to be more accepting of mobile tech in the sky.

Man in plane on phone

The new results hold up against a study done three years ago

On Sunday, Bitkom, a German IT industry group, published the results of a survey, revealing that 55 percent of Germans don't want people to make calls on their mobiles while on airplanes.

The survey also found that only 19 percent of respondents were in favor of unrestricted use of mobile phones.

"Most people want to have their rest [while] in the sky," said August-Wilhelm Scheer, the president of Bitkom, in a statement.

The results of the survey come two months after Lufthansa reintroduced on-board Internet access for trans-Atlantic flights, which costs 11 euros ($15) for one hour, or 20 euros for 24 hours.

The German airline giant will not block VOIP services like Skype, but the company has said that their use will not be permitted.

Lufthansa has also said that by the spring of 2011, it will also make mobile phone technology available for text messaging and wireless data transfer via smart phones.

Woman with cellphone

If the majority of Germans have their way, calls will still have to be made outside of the aircraft

Younger Germans tend to be more in favor

This survey is markedly similar to one conducted three years ago, where 60 percent of those surveyed said that they were against the use of mobile phones while aboard a plane.

However, 15 percent of respondents said that that they would not object to people talking on their phone, provided it was in a separate area of the plane.

Not surprisingly, older Germans tended to be more in favor of a blanket ban, while younger Germans tended to favor limited restrictions - 10 percent are ok with sending text messages and mobile Internet use.

The Bitkom survey tends to bear out the notion that some people may relish the chance to be totally disconnected from the rest of the world for a few hours.

“In business travel, some people enjoy that they aren't available for a while," said Eric Heymann, a Deutsche Bank Research analyst, in an interview with Deutsche Welle in December 2010. "It's sort of the last mobile-phone-free zone."

Author: Cyrus Farivar
Editor: Mark Hallam

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