European regulators are now catching up on the latest internet technologies regarding travel. Hopefully, they are not as slow in the implementation phase.
Passengers may soon be able to make calls on flights
Passengers may soon be able to make phone calls on flights in the European Union thanks to a recent ruling by the European Commission. The ruling is 1 of 2 that would allow airlines and other transportation providers to provide the latest internet connection service on their travels.
U.S., The Federal Communications Commission
Still determined is how passengers would react to being forced to listen to fellow travelers converse in-flight on their phones without much freedom to leave the place. In the U.S., the Federal Communications Commission has barred phone calls on planes since 1991 out of fear that they could interfere with flight operations.
Some airlines in the Middle East and Asia already permit passengers to make phone calls during flights. But a 2019 CNN story captured the other side of the argument.
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“Pretty much across the board, people who work in airplane cabins said the idea of permitting passengers unfettered in-flight phone calls would lead to chaos, conflict, and downright craziness in flight,” the CNN story stated. “As such, they oppose phone calls vociferously.”
Under the latest rule, airlines in the European Union will be able to operate the latest 5G technology on their flight. Since 2019, 5G has been the new generation technology standard for broadband mobile networks and offers faster internet speed and connectivity. With the technology, travelers may no need longer have to put their phones on airplane mode. They can use their mobile phones to their total capacity, using a wider range of services that would match their experience on the ground.
European officials expect the change will support a more innovative environment for businesses. “5G will enable innovative services for passengers and development opportunities for European companies,” stated European Commission for the Internal Market Thierry Breton. There’s not been clear as to how member states will make these opportunities happen.
The European Commission also amended a decision on 5GHz frequency bands, which makes such bands available for Wi-Fi on the road in cars and buses.
“The amending decision lays the foundation for innovations in the automotive industry and potentially for Metaverse applications,” the European Commission told in its published ruling.
European Commission member states have until next year June 2023 to make the 5G frequency band available for flights and the 5GHz frequency band.
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