The European Commission recently announced that by June 30, 2023, member states would need to make 5G connectivity available on planes within Europe.
What does that mean for passengers? Well, it means that those aboard flights in the EU will be able to use their mobile phones to the maximum of their capacity and features. This will be just as good and on par as with a ground-based 5G mobile network.
The commission stated the travelling public would be able to use their phones to text, call, and stream videos in the air.
“The sky is no longer a limit when it comes to possibilities offered by super-fast, high-capacity connectivity,” Theirry Breton, the EU’s commissioner for the internal market, said in a statement about the new 5G decision.
Since 2008, the Commission’s implementing decision has reserved certain frequencies for mobile communications on planes, allowing airlines to provide messaging, phone calls and data services to passengers flying in the EU. This update of the Commission implementing decision on mobile communications on-board aircraft paves the way for the wide-spread deployment of 5G services.
The service is provided within the cabin of an equipped aircraft using special network equipment, the so-called ‘pico-cell’, to connect the users and route calls, texts, and data, typically via a satellite network, between the airplane and the ground-based mobile network.