In the upcoming months, passengers traveling by plane in the European Union (EU) will be able to use their cell phones without placing putting them on flight mode. According to a new guideline from the European Commission, airlines can provide all passengers with both 5G network connectivity services and slower mobile data during their flights.
Additionally, travelers will only need to switch on airplane mode once they board the aircraft. According to rumors, the deadline for EU member states to make 5G services available for aircraft is June 30, 2023.
According to a BBC story, the EU is opening the way for mobile connectivity onboard aircraft. It will allow passengers to use their phones as they usually would to place and receive calls. Additionally, passengers can access the internet to watch movies, explore websites, and send text messages.
Only Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are now permitted on several flights across the world.
Now, the question arises as to why phone calls aboard airplanes are prohibited. It is because when smartphones are trying to connect, it can interfere with aircraft instructions and readings.
Turning on airplane mode on your smartphone will no longer be required in the upcoming months. According to a recent rule from the European Commission, airlines are now permitted to provide 5G mobile connectivity on flights. As a result, passengers will no longer need to activate airplane mode before boarding. According to a source, EU member states must make 5G bands available for airline use and execute the new directive by June 30, 2023.
Why is the EU making the new changes?
When boarding an aircraft, passengers are frequently reminded to switch their phones to airplane mode since 5G connectivity. However, according to the EU, the particular bands in use are less likely to result in this interference, which is why the directive, in this instance, favors passenger convenience.
Most of the time, adopting airplane mode is still advised. This is because trying to connect to a mobile network on your smartphone uses a lot of battery life and depletes it quickly.
However, passengers can connect directly to the data services if airlines are permitted to set up the necessary infrastructure. This could guarantee constant connectivity throughout the flight, including making and receiving calls while in flight.
Calls are less likely to interfere with the instructions of the aircraft. This is because the EU Commission has reserved specific frequency bands for aircraft since 2008. Consequently, the EU issued this legislation allowing passengers to make calls.
Some flights are now able to offer in-flight internet connectivity. However, it is slow. So airlines will now use specialized network hardware known as “pico-cells,” which will route calls, messages, and data over satellite networks to connect the aircraft to the ground-based mobile network. Passengers using this new system will have access to 5G, which has a speed of about 100Mbps.
In the US, 5G interference with aircraft navigation systems has been a problem. But because of different frequency bands, this issue does not exist in the UK. However, it might not be advised. As is typical, trying to connect to a mobile network can drain your battery more, so if you don’t have a power bank or the flights don’t have the infrastructure to allow you to charge your devices, your phone may run out of juice more quickly than it would otherwise.