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Saturday 29 June 2013

Mobile phone feature reminders

Mobile phones in airplane mode AND even mobile phones that are not subscribed to any service plan have plenty of features that work without any wireless signal. When users turn off the wireless signals, 1st-hand and 2-hand radiation exposure is reduced, plus batteries don't drain as quickly.

In media reports about mobile phone users who try to go cold turkey without their phones, often included is the experimenter's complaints about not having a contact list or an alarm clock without their mobile phone.

For people who remain users yet want to reduce their own and other people's exposure to wireless radiation, in airplane mode (or whatever signals off) plenty of non-wireless features still work:

  • alarm clock
  • daytimer
  • phone/address book
  • calculator
  • camera
  • some games (I assume)
  • and I imagine there are plenty of other non-wireless tools on a mobile phone that I’ve forgotten. 

I still occasionally use my old mobile phone as a camera—I transfer the photos to computer via the cable that came with the phone. I keep the phone away from my body because distance is good also because of the electromagnetic emissions from the battery power.

Any mobile phone with NO PLAN (in other words: FREE) can be used for all of the above PLUS to phone 911 in an emergency.

During the past week, I checked with Toronto Police Headquarters (twice, to make sure) about the no-plan 911 point above, as I always assumed it was probably an urban myth. The Police told me with certainty that it isn’t a myth, that indeed any mobile phone INCLUDING a mobile phone that does NOT subscribe to any plan or service can be used to phone 911. Obviously, there must be charge in the battery and/or the phone connected to a power source (e.g., plugged into the car). Any mobile phone can be used to phone 911 regardless whether or not the phone is subscribed to any network service. As with ALL cell phone 911 calls, responders can’t locate you as quickly nor as precisely as they can with a landline 911 call, so if you call 911 from a mobile phone please right away tell them your location.


  1. Good to know - especially about the 911-callilng feature still being enabled on a cell phone that is not connected to any wireless network.

  2. Provided the phone has power. If the battery is charged, the phone should still be stored at a distance away from people. And if possible during an emergency call to use the phone held at a distance away from people. It is my understanding that generally it is not advised to use a phone while it is plugged into a charging socket - whether or not to make an exception to that in an emergency would be up to the individual person. So although certainly emergencies are not planned, perhaps it is sometimes a good idea to think of a little planning to consider circumstances.