Home News&Events Surfing in the sky: Commission gives airlines green-light for 3G and 4G broadband services on board aircraft

Friday18 August 2017

Surfing in the sky: Commission gives airlines green-light for 3G and 4G broadband services on board aircraft

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The European Commission has adopted new rules that allow the latest wireless communication technology to be used by passengers on board aircraft flying over the European Union.

This means that from now onwards, spectrum for 3G (UMTS) and 4G (LTE) communications may be used above an altitude of 3000 metres. Until now only 2G (GSM) has been permissible on-board aircraft flying in the EU, which is impracticable sending large amounts of data (for example sending large attachments, downloading eBooks, watching video).

 This EU decision creates the possibility for airlines – rather than a right for passengers - to allow use of smart phones and tablets during flights. But, in order for this service to work, airlines must install specific hardware on board each concerned airplane.

For further information: europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-1066_en.htm

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