Getting on an airplane has been synonymous with forced mobile disconnection, where flight passengers have been urged to put their mobile devices in “Airplane Mode” as part of the content of the voiceovers they receive before taking off.
But despite the fact that this requirement has been relaxing for years, the situation is about to change in the European Union, so that whoever wants it, in the future will be able to have access to calls, messages and Internet connection in the same way. than if they were on land.
Leaving forced mobile disconnections behind
And it is that the European Commission is updating the legislation on mobile communications, which will enable the same airlines to install their own stations with connectivity picocells.
These will link up with satellites that will then communicate with base stations on the ground. This is a decision that had been pending since 2008. Although the focus is on 5G connectivity and its wide possibilities, there will also be compatibility with “previous generations of mobile technology”, as the organization points out in a statement.
It should be noted that 5G technology will not cause security issues with aircraft cabin communications by using different frequencies. In this way, as Thierry Breton, EU commissioner, affirms, “the sky is no longer the limit” adding that:
5G will enable innovative services for people and growth opportunities for European companies”
At the moment, the exact terms by which users of flights in European territory will be able to use mobile connectivity within the flights themselves are unknown, although the requirement to turn off or put mobile phones in Airplane Mode, a mode that limits the possibilities of mobile connection, and that at least in the EU it will be necessary to find a name more in keeping with the times.
In the United States, airlines are expected to upgrade their equipment to communication equipment that is not sensitive to 5G before the deployment of this technology begins in the middle of the year, even near airports.
More information: European Commission