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Soon European Flyers Will be Able to Loudly Talk on Their Phones in the Air

Soon European Flyers Will be Able to Loudly Talk on Their Phones in the Air

The European Union is getting ready to nix airplane on flights.

Following the European Commission’s decision to allow airline passengers to use data while in the air, the EU has announced they are considering making airplane mode obsolete. The decision would allow airlines to outfit planes with 5G technology during flights. This means passengers would be able to stream music and videos, access their apps or even make phone calls while in the air. 

“The sky is no longer a limit when it comes to possibilities offered by super-fast, high-capacity connectivity,” said Thierry Breton, the EU Commissioner for the Internal Market. 

The Federal Communications Commission first introduced rules prohibiting cell use back in 1991 to protect against potential interference with the pilot’s navigation system. However, in 2017 Business Insider reported that the FCC created the cell phone ban to “protect against radio interference to cell phone networks on the ground.” Still, much of the FCC’s justification for banned cell phone use has come from a lack of understanding how the technology would affect the plane. But the EU seems to have figured it out. 

Dai Whittingham, chief executive of the UK Flight Safety Committee, told the BBC that the concern for 5G interference is not as big of an issue in the EU and U.K. as it is in the U.S. 

“There is much less prospect of interference,” Wittingham said. “We have a different set of frequencies for 5G, and there are lower power settings than those that have been allowed in the US. The traveling public wants 5G. The regulators will open up that possibility, but there will be steps that will be taken to ensure that whatever they do is safe.”

If things pass, EU members will need to implement 5G technology on airplanes by June 30, 2023.

Hey America, can we figure this out too?

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