Airline passengers in the European Union (EU) will soon be able to use 5G technology in their phones to full effect in the sky, the media reported. According to BBC, the European Commission ruled that airlines can offer 5G technology alongside slower mobile data on board planes.
With this, flyers will no longer be required to put their phone in flight mode, though the details of how this will be implemented remain unknown.
“Enable innovative services for people and help European companies grow,” Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, was quoted as saying. “The sky is no longer a limit when it comes to possibilities offered by super-fast, high-capacity connectivity,” he added.
The deadline for member states to make the 5G frequency bands available for planes is June 30, 2023, according to the report. This will let people use all their phone’s features mid-flight – enabling calls as well as data-heavy apps that stream music and video.
Since 2008, the EU Commission has reserved certain frequency bands for aircraft, allowing some services to provide in-flight internet access, said the report.
However, this service has historically been slow because it relied on equipment to connect people via satellite between the plane and the ground.
The new system will be able to take advantage of 5G’s much faster download speeds, which can reach over 100Mbps according to mobile network EE — allowing a film to be downloaded within minutes, the report added.
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