According to this article via the Yomiuri Shimbun, airlines are growing increasingly concerned about children bringing cell phones onto planes, as they could interfere with navigation systems. Airlines are especially concerned about the latest children’s cell phones, which contain a built-in crime prevention function that automatically restarts the phone if it is switched off. [WWJ demo video Here]
The so-called Kids Keitai, include a built-in global positioning system that allows the handset to send e-mails or transmit a signal notifying parents of their current location. Since March last year, about 390,000 units had been sold by NTT DoCoMo as of April this year, SoftBank and KDDI also have similar models with the same feature.
The crime-prevention function on the children’s handsets can be suspended by inputting a preregistered code, ANA and Japan Airlines have held talks with cell phone companies over the issue and airlines now have tools onboard planes enabling the removal of batteries, as the case is locked, so phones can be switched off without the code. In related news, it seems some adults childish behaviour has resulted in a grown-up grounding here over the week-end