5G, breakthrough in the EU: in 2023 it will be possible to use the data connection on planes

Breakthrough on European airliners: mobile phones with super-fast and high-capacity 5G technology can be used during the flight. This was decided by the European Commission by updating the implementing decision on the spectrum for mobile communications on board aircraft, designating certain frequencies for in-flight 5G technology, which will therefore complement the previous generations of mobile technology offered by airlines. For users who have a 5G connection, therefore, it will not be necessary to set the airplane mode once you get on the aircraft.

Aircraft equipped with special network devices

“5G will enable innovative services for people and growth opportunities for European businesses”, underlined Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton in a statement. “The sky’s no longer the limit when it comes to the possibilities of super-fast, high-capacity connectivity.” The Commission Implementing Decision had reserved certain frequencies for in-flight mobile telephony since 2008, allowing airlines to provide messaging, phone calls and data services to passengers traveling in the EU. The service will be provided in the cabin of aircraft equipped with special network devices, to connect users and route calls, text messages and data, typically via a satellite network, between the aircraft and the land mobile network.

Connection on the roads

The Commission has also amended an implementing decision on the 5 GHz frequency bands, which will make the bands available for Wi-Fi in road transport, for example in cars and buses. The decision sets the stage for automotive innovations and potentially Metaverse applications. According to the amended Implementing Decision, Member States will make the 5 GHz frequency bands available for on-board use on the road as soon as possible and by 30 June 2023 at the latest.