European Commission Says Yes to Mobile Data, Calling In-Flight
The European Commission announced on Thursday that it would begin allowing the use of 3G and 4G mobile devices on board aircraft that are flying over the European Union.
The change in rules allows airlines to implement the use of 3G and 4G above 3,000 meters (9,843 feet). Instead of connecting to mobile networks on the ground, passengers will use local network on the aircraft that then communicates to the ground.
Passengers that use the in-flight mobile networks will pay a roaming rate for data and voice charges through their mobile carrier. Pricing is up to the individual passenger’s mobile operator.
Since 2008, only the use of the 2G spectrum has been allowed on-board aircraft in the EU.
The Commission’s decision follows an announcement from the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) that permits the use of small electronic devices during taxi, takeoff, and landing.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announced it would begin allowing the use of personal electronic devices during taxi, takeoff, and landing, and, within a week, all four legacy airlines in the U.S. had implemented the new rule.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)