Re: Cell phone reception?
If the airline uses Aeromobile then sort of. Aeromobile is a gprs network within the aircraft that you connect to, which switches you through a satellite to the ground.
So, no, the technology has not been hurdled where you can connect your phone to a cell tower on the ground while flying.
It's basically the same as satellite AirPhones on any aircraft except for the cell switching technology that allows you to use your own handset instead of the handset behind the seat.
The nice thing about Aeromobile is you can send and recieve text messages, and supposedly internet access. Can't image that would be very good though.
One more thing. Aeromobile only allows 6 GSM connections on the aircraft at one time, since satellite comm bandwith is limiited. International cell rates apply and a connection fee, which don't come cheap. Aircraft CDMA networks are not in the works since Europe is exclusively GSM. All Aeromobile equiped aircraft are required by the FAA to shut off the equipment with 250 miles of US airspace.
If you were on a flight with Aeromobile, chances are you wouldn't be hearing many people gabbing away on the phone or texting unless they could afford 10 bucks a minute.