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No more Airplane Mode for fliers in Europe; you will soon get in-flight 5G services

The European Union has announced plans to provide inflight network connectivity for passengers to call and surf the internet. Passengers travelling across EU countries will soon be able to use their phone without turning on Airplane mode.

No more Airplane Mode for fliers in Europe you will soon get in flight 5G services gcw
First Published Dec 6, 2022, 5:10 PM IST

During a flight, do you turn off your phone or put it in aeroplane mode? But no more. The use of cellphones, computers, and other electronic devices in the air may soon be possible for anyone travelling inside the European Union (EU). In addition to giving customers access to mobile data, airlines may also provide 5G mobile connection.

The EU is rejecting a proposed guideline for cellphone communication in the air, the BBC reported. The union is preparing to give mobile network access for passengers travelling throughout the continent as part of its strategy to "enable new services for people."

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Significantly, the European Union has mandated that the new rules be put into effect by June 30, 2023, and that member states make 5G frequency bands accessible in aeroplanes by that date. Once in place, aviation travellers will be able to make calls in the middle of flights, browse the online, stream internet content, and utilise apps that require internet access.

As part of its Digital Future Strategy, the EU is introducing new rules for in-flight connectivity that will apply to all of its member states, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.

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Notably, several aircraft provide customers with Wi-Fi access. However, considering that it has hundreds of users and only delivers 3 MHz speed, the internet service is comparably quite sluggish. In contrast, people's home Wi-Fi receives 20 to 160 MHz on the ground. The equipment that provides internet connection through a satellite between the aircraft and the ground is solely responsible for connectivity.

However, the new 5G technology being developed by the EU is supposed to deliver speeds of over 100 Mbps, allowing passengers to watch movies and download videos quickly. In the meanwhile, the EU addressed the worry that 5G bands might interfere with the aviation system.

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