The European Union (EU) has introduced new regulations on allowing passengers to use the internet and make calls on board via 5G networks.
Accordingly, the European Union (EU) has approved regulations allowing passengers to access the internet and make calls on board. Airlines will equip a 5G connection system instead of selling low-speed Wi-Fi access packages like today.
Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Domestic Market, said the plan brings “innovative services to everyone” and helps European companies grow. “The sky will no longer be limited with the benefits of super-fast, high-capacity connectivity technology,” said Breton.
Under the new rules, passengers on board 5G-equipped planes can listen to music, watch movies, play games, and make calls. Airlines will install special equipment on board aircraft called “pico-cells” to direct calls, texts, and data through a network of satellites, connecting the aircraft to a 5G base station on the ground.
According to Gizmodo, the new EU regulation on using 5G in flight could put an end to airplane mode on phones. In the past, passengers were always required to turn on airplane mode in the air, only access the internet if they purchased a Wi-Fi package provided by the airline.
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) banned the use of cell phones on airplanes in 1991. Many people believe that radio waves from phones can interfere with the pilot’s navigation system. According to the agency, the fact that all aircraft allow passengers to access mobile networks overhead could cause congestion at ground stations.
However, Dai Whittingham, CEO of the UK Flight Safety Commission, said the ban on the use of mobile phones on flights was due to a lack of understanding of their impact on aircraft. “There is concern that they will interfere with the automatic flight control system. Conclusions from experience show that the risk of interference is very small. All regulations currently advise users to turn on airplane mode during flight,” said Whittingham.
While the US is still worried about mobile phones interfering with planes, Whittingham insists that is not the case in the UK and EU. Under the new rules, EU member states need to allow 5G to be installed on aircraft by June 30, 2023.