When will passengers be allowed to make phone calls while on board an aircraft?

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When will passengers be allowed to make phone calls while on board an aircraft?

The decision to introduce new mobile communication standards on board aircraft was announced by the European Union Commission in November. “5G will provide innovative citizen services and growth opportunities for European companies. The sky is no longer the limit when it comes to the opportunities offered by ultra-fast, high-bandwidth communications, — Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market Commission, commented on the upcoming innovations.

The deadline for EU countries to provide 5G frequencies for — June 30, 2023, which means that all passengers will be able to use their phones to make calls as early as next summer.

In the opinion of the Commission, the decision to introduce mobile communications on board lays the foundation for the widespread deployment of 5G services. The service is expected to be provided in the cabin, which uses dedicated Picocell network equipment to connect users and exchange text messages, calls and data between the aircraft and the ground-based mobile network .

Thanks to Picocell technology, passengers will be able to use their phone through mobile networks, and not through Wi-Fi.

Moreover, using phones on the plane will become completely safe, since 5G frequencies differ from those used to communicate pilots with controllers. The cost of the service has not yet been announced, but it is already clear that it will not be free.

The Commission established the 5G networking project in 2013 and allocated public funding of more than 700 million euros under the Horizon 2020 program ; for his support.  

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