EU to scrap Airplane mode and allow calls on flights

Boeing, 737, aircraft, airliner

EU to scrap Airplane mode and allow calls on flights

Europe is ditching ‘aeroplane mode‘ to allow passengers to talk or surf the web on flights.

The European Commission has ruled airlines allowed to provide 5G technology on board planes, alongside a slower mobile data.

A deadline has been set for member states to make the 5G frequency bands available for Jumbo Jets by 30 June 2023.

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

Airbus A350-900 Farnborough International AirShow 2022 (image WatfordMedia/Alamy)

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. But this service has been historically slow relying on signals to go via a satellite then back to the ground.

The new system will take advantage of the faster 5G technology. According to mobile network EE, this can be over 100Mbps.

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