Mobile phones might provide clue to missing flight MH370

No reports they’ve been traced though

cat b100 only waterproof to depth of 1 metre

According to¬†multiple Press reports, as many as 19 families have managed to call¬† the mobile phones of their relatives/friends missing on a Malaysia Airlines flight. What’s more, it has even been suggested that Malaysian Airlines itself has got through to some of the crew’s handsets from flight MH370. If this is true, then the authorities would know, for example, what country the aircraft is in or near to. Plus from triangulation, they should also be able to guess roughly where the aircraft is located. The fact that authorities are continuing to search the seas indicates that there’s something seriously wrong with the theory that these phones are ringing onboard the plane.

For example, GoMo News can believe that one or two of the passengers might have boarded the flight and forgotten to turn their mobile phones off. But not as many as 19 of them.

Plus we really find it difficult to believe that members of the crew were so lax as to leave their mobile phones switched on.

Imagine what the passengers would say if their handsets suddenly rang?

The fact that these phones are supposedly ringing would also indicate that the plane is on dry land because the handsets wouldn’t be working if the plane had sunk.

That would apply even if the passengers owned a waterproof smartphone such as a Sony Xperia Z or the Cat B15/B100 because they aren’t waterproof to any serious depth.

Yet, the UK’s Daily Mirror here has cited the Chinese media as saying the 19 families have signed a joint statement confirming they made calls which connected to the missing passengers’ phones but without an answer.

If those phones were switched off or out of network range, then those families would be right in thinking that they couldn’t possibly be ringing.

However, a clue would be in the actual ringing tone itself. These handsets would almost certainly be ‘roaming’ onto an overseas network – so the tone should sound different.

GoMo News‘ explanation for these handsets ringing is simply that they are secondary handsets which have been left at home or in a hotel room.

It is extremely common for Asian people to own more than one handset – as a way of differentiating between telephone numbers used for work/business and a phone used for private calls.

These friends and relatives are very probably phoning the wrong handset.

We certainly don’t hope there will be a repeat of what happened in the sad case of the UK’s Milly Dowler.

Relatives had been calling here mobile and leaving messages – so the handset’s voice mailbox filled up.

However, after a few days the network automatically killed off old messages that had been listened to.

That meant it was possible to leave voicemails again. Sadly, relatives interpreted this as a sign that Milly had listened to here voicemail. Which was incorrect.

Hopefully, those with friends or family on Flight MH370 won’t make the same false assumption.

See also ‘China Mobile able to throw light on missing MH370-maybe‘.

About Tony Dennis

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
This article was published in Mobile Devices, Sony, mobile news and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Mobile phones might provide clue to missing flight MH370

  1. Terence says:

    It has been stated in other media sources that on international calls it will often ring for a few seconds while it searches for the recipient as a psychological courtesy to the caller who might otherwise hang up with a silent line. In most cases this is a good feature. In this case it is a rather terrible case of false hope. It is considered unlikely that the ringing is due to a live handset on the other end.

  2. admin says:

    Interesting. In the UK at least, if a handset is switched off or out of range you don’t get the ringing tone. It should go straight to voicemail.

  3. Pingback: Mobile phones might provide clue to missing flight MH370GoMo News | Techarc

  4. Siuyinh says:

    I have never heard of mobile phone companies who issue multiple copies of the same sim card – i.e. same phone number on different sim cards for use in different handsets connected with the one account or number. As far as I know, in Australia and in Malaysia, you can only get one sim card per individual phone number. I really don’t know about other countries. Maybe in China you can get their telcos offering repeat sim cards issued with the same mobile number to put into different handsets – one for home, one for work – both with the same number. But I haven’t ever heard of this being possible before hence it struck me as fairly improbable that when relatives tried dialing phones, the ring they heard was coming from another handset rather than the ones the passengers had taken with them. The other issue is that when you dial out to a mobile phone, you actually can pick up a ring tone even though the phone is technically switched off because the ring tone is the service provider’s indicator that you are attempting to call a specific number connected to an active account and a handset that is still within range of a digital signal. In this case, even if the phone happens to be turned off, it can still ring on the end of the caller’s handset and then it will simply be diverted to the voicemail box after a time.

    I am not in the least surprised that as a matter of routine safety, when on board an aircraft, there is always the instruction to turn any electronic devices off, including mobile phones or computers as they can, if left on, interfere with the plane’s communications and radar system, which to state the obvious is a danger and this is what also makes me wonder about how seriously people take these instructions. I really think it is wise to take such instructions more seriously because after all they appear to have some connection to the technical prerequisites of a smooth and safe journey through the air.

    My prayers are with all who boarded MH370, their relatives and friends.

  5. admin says:

    Actually you are wrong on multiple accounts. Vodafone, for example, provided two SIMS with the same number for those who wanted to have a second SIM in their car. But that is irrelevant. You are merely proving that it is easy to leap to false conclusions over whether a handset is actually ‘live’ merely from a ringing tone.

  6. Pingback: More proof mobile phone records could help find MH370GoMo News

  7. Pingback: Missing flight MH370 mobile phone records need to be checked GoMo News

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