EU to allow calls on flights

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Airline passengers in the European Union (EU) will soon be able to use their phones to full effect in the sky.

The European Commission ruled airlines can provide 5G technology on board planes, alongside slower mobile data.

This could mean flyers will no longer be required to put their phone on airplane mode – though the specifics of how it will be implemented are unclear.

The deadline for member states to make the 5G frequency bands available for planes is 30 June 2023.

This will mean people can use all their phone’s features mid-flight – enabling calls as well as data-heavy apps that stream music and video.

Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, said the plan would “enable innovative services for people” and help European companies grow.

“The sky is no longer a limit when it comes to possibilities offered by super-fast, high-capacity connectivity,” he said.

The EU Commission has reserved certain frequency bands for aircraft since 2008, allowing some services to offer mid-air internet access.

But this service has been historically slow, as it relied on equipment to connect people via a satellite between the aeroplane and the ground.

The new system will be able to take advantage of the much faster download speeds provided by 5G, which according to mobile network EE can be over 100Mbps – enabling a film to be downloaded in just a few minutes.

Read more Via BBC

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