Did any passenger’s mobile roam onto a ‘foreign’ network?
GoMo News has deepest sympathy with the families of those passengers and crew members who have disappeared with Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. We know that at least 19 families were convinced that mobile handsets belonging their loved ones were still switched on four days after the flight first disappeared. These relatives have also been seen to vent their anger with the Malaysian authorities over lack of clear information about the tragedy. However, it could well be that China Mobile might be able to help the relatives out.
It appears that of the 227 people passengers on board that flight, a significant majority (154) were of Chinese nationality.
GoMo News is aware that there are, in fact, three Chinese MNOs [Mobile Network Operators] but China Mobile is by far the largest of the three.
We’d speculate that some passengers aboard that flight would have realised that something was badly amiss when the plane was still airbourne after seven hours when it should have landed after about two hours.
Therefore, some of the passengers might have decided to switch on their mobile phones in an effort to obtain information and/or communicate with the ground.
On the balance of probabilities, such passengers would have included Chinese nationals connected to the China Mobile network.
Their handsets would have attempted to ‘roam’ onto any nearby network.
Even if the handset didn’t get a clear signal, the Chinese MNO should be able to say which networks they at least attempted to connect with.
And if you know the name of the cellular network which MH370 flew over, you’d know which country the plane had crossed or landed in.
What puzzles GoMo News is that there have been no reports of anyone successfully sending a text from the flight.
That’s strange because many experienced mobile phone users can send a text without even having to more than briefly glance at the screen. Especially young women.
A GSM handset can still send a text when there are no ‘bars’ indicating sufficient signal strength for a voice call. All it needs is a network handshake.
Perhaps, the aircraft didn’t fly over any significant land masses, so there was never a signal?
However, if any handsets are eventually recovered; powered up; and switched back on – shocked relatives or friends might find themselves suddenly receiving a delayed text. Not a happy thought.