From June 2023, the EU will allow calls and internet services on flights

EU allows calls and internet services on flights from June 2023 | Unsplash – Kenny Eliason

Passengers flying in the European Union (EU) will soon be able to use their phones without putting them on flight mode in the coming months. A new directive from the European Commission says airlines can offer 5G mobile connectivity services along with slower mobile data on flights and passengers will no longer have to turn on Airplane mode once they board the flight. According to reports, EU member states have until June 30, 2023 to make 5G services available for aircraft.

According to a report by the BBC, the EU is paving the way for mobile connectivity on flights and passengers will be allowed to use their phones normally to make and receive calls and access internet services to watch videos, browse websites and send text messages.

Only features such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are currently allowed on certain flights worldwide.

Why are phone calls restricted?

When smartphones attempt to connect to a cellular network or are connected to a cellular network, it can interfere with aircraft directions and readings, prompting passengers to turn off their phones or leave them in flight mode.

Why is the EU making the new changes?

The EU Commission has reserved certain frequency bands for aircraft since 2008, meaning calls are less likely to interfere with aircraft instructions. Therefore, the EU issued this directive to allow passengers to make phone calls.

This new frequency has allowed some flights to offer in-flight internet access, but they have been slow. Now airlines will use special network equipment called “pico-cell” that routes calls, messages and data through satellite networks that connect the plane to the ground-based cellular network. With this new system, passengers can access 5G, which has a speed of around 100 Mbit / s.

Is it recommended?

5G interference with the flight’s navigation system was a problem in the US. But as these concerns do not exist in the UK due to different frequency bands. But still it cannot be recommended. As in most cases, when your device tries to connect to a cellular network, it will consume more battery. So if you don’t have a power bank or the flights install infrastructure to charge your smartphone, your phone may die down faster than it normally would.

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