Towards the end of “airplane mode” in Europe?
5G would drastically improve speed of the Internet on board aircraft.
A new European Commission regulation that allows the deployment of 5G networks on board aircraft could mark the beginning of the end for the “mode plane” from our smart phones.
In a statement published at the end of November, the Commission indicates that people traveling on an aircraft in the European Union will be able to use their phones to the maximum of their capacities and functionalities, just like with a 5G network on dry land.
This could mean that you no longer need to turn off your cell phone or activate your airplane mode for the duration of a flight.
< p class="e-p">This requirement is a precautionary measure to prevent device transmissions from interfering with aircraft electronic systems.
The European Commission press release gives very few details on the application of its new regulations.
It is already possible to access the Internet on many aircraft thanks to frequency bands reserved for this purpose, but these services are generally very slow, and sometimes limited to email only.
The adoption of 5G could allow to reach a transfer speed making possible more data-intensive functionalities like streaming or video calls.
According to an expert consulted by BBC, 5G in flights will work using dedicated systems installed in aircraft, at high frequencies which should not interfere with aircraft systems.
But the Frequency spectra as well as power settings differ between North America and Europe, which could mean that new regulations planned for the Old Continent will not be replicated here for now.
There is much less risk of interference [in Europe and the UK], according to Dai Whittingham, head of a UK air safety committee.
5G in flight should see the light of day in Europe by June 2023, according to the timetable of the European Commission.
With BBC news, and Gizmodo