Passengers onboard EU flights will be able to use their mobile phones to full capacity after the European Commission updated its implementing decision on inflight 5G technology.
According to the latest Commission decision, airlines will be able to provide the latest 5G technology on planes with features similar to those of a ground-based 5G mobile network.
Under the decision, EU member states are required to make 5GHz frequency bands available for use in road vehicles as early as possible and at the latest by June 30, 2023, the Commission said.
“5G will enable innovative services for people and growth opportunities for European companies. The sky is no longer a limit when it comes to possibilities offered by super-fast, high-capacity connectivity,” said European Commissioner for the Internal market Thierry Breton.
5G services will be provided inside plane cabins using special network equipment connecting the users and route calls, texts, and data, typically via a satellite network, between the airplane and the ground-based mobile network.
The Commission has also amended an implementing decision on 5GHz frequency bands, setting the foundations for bands available for Wi-Fi in road transport such as cars and buses. The decision paves the way for innovation in the automotive industry and possibly for Metaverse applications.
However, citing safety and national security reasons, aviation authorities have rejected the installation of 5G technology on board aircraft, according to international press reports.