Europe allows mobile phone calls on flights

Airline passengers in Europe may soon be able to make calls from their mobile phones mid-flight.

Europe allows mobile phone calls on flights

The proposal from Ofcom, which has been developed jointly with various EU countries, will see a small base station fitted on board aircraft which will connect customer’s handsets to the existing telecoms networks via a satellite.

The system will only be used at altitudes over 3,000 metres to avoid interference with existing terrestrial mobile networks.

According to the proposals, only 2G phones will be supported initially, with voice, data and text communications all supported. Calls will be charged as normal by the customer’s operator. If the service is successful Ofcom says that it could be extended to 3G phones as well.

Most airlines already offer calls through their own satellite systems, often at exorbitant rates.

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