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  • Kyle Chua

TikTok User Made Illegal Satellite Calls with Huawei Mate 60 Pro on Commercial Flight

Videos are starting to surface online demonstrating the Huawei Mate 60 Pro's satellite communication features as more of the public get their hands on the flagship device.

Huawei Mate 60 Pro
Credit: Huawei

In a video uploaded on TikTok, one user shows how they were able to make a call via satellite while on a commercial flight. They activate the satellite link on their Mate 60 Pro and wait for it to establish a connection. Then, they select the contact they want to talk to and make the call.

From what's shown in the video, the call does go through and the receiver picks it up, highlighting how the Mate 60 Pro's satellite features work on flights.

When you're on a plane, you're out of mobile network coverage area, so apart from in-flight Wi-Fi, there's no other option for you to stay connected except via satellite. And the Huawei Mate 60 Pro is the first mass market handset to include satellite communication features, which were previously reserved for satellite phones geared towards off-the-grid travelers.

However, there are some caveats to using the Mate 60 Pro's satellite features while on flights.

For one, it does appear to take a fair bit of time for the Mate 60 Pro to establish a connection. Some users claim you have to be seated beside or near the window for it to work. Even then, the coverage area can still be small, making it difficult for the device to maintain a stable connection.

User making Satellite calls on commercial flight
Credit: TikTok user Laobu736

Another thing is that satellite communication isn't free with regular mobile network plans. Instead, it's an add-on of sorts that you have to pay extra for. In China, for example, access to satellite calls is available exclusively o through China Telecom cards. You can choose from two monthly plans: one provides you with 80 minutes of satellite calls for 100 yuan, while the other provides with 200 minutes for 200 yuan.

Perhaps more importantly, using satellite features on a plane violates aviation safety regulations. That's why Huawei is now discouraging its use on flights. "Recently, some users have been using the Mate 60 Pro’s satellite communication function to make calls and record videos while flying civil aircraft, which violates relevant regulations flight safety," Huawei Smart Devices CTO Bruce Lee wrote on Weibo, urging users to toggle airplane mode instead.

The Mate 60 Pro is powered by a Kirin 9000 mobile chipset that also supports 5G network connections. The device is currently exclusive to China, with Huawei yet to announce global release plans. It starts at 6,999 yuan.

  • In a video uploaded on TikTok, one user shows how they were able to make a call via satellite using the Huawei Mate 60 Pro while on a commercial flight, demonstrating the flagship device's satellite communication features.

  • Satellite communication was previously reserved for satellite phones geared towards off-the-grid travelers, not mass market smartphones.

  • Huawei, however, discourage users from accessing the device's satellite features on flight as doing so violates aviation safety regulations.

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