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Europe give go-ahead for mobiles on planes

After Ofcom decided to allow mobiles on planes last month, the EC said it’s paving the way for more of the same from other European Union member states.

The era of pan-European in-flight mobility will be ushered in by two measures announced by the EC this week: a “Commission Recommendation for a harmonised approach on licensing which will promote mutual recognition between national authorisations for mobile communications services on aircraft” and “a Commission Decision which sets out harmonised technical parameters of onboard equipment for in-flight mobile phone use throughout the EU that will allow member states to recognise each other’s licences for mobile communications on board aircraft without risk to mobile networks on the ground”. The EC will also make sure safety concerns are dealt with by the appropriate bodies.

Interestingly, after the EC has pushed so hard on cutting roaming charges within Europe, it’s remaining mum on how to regulate the cost of connectivity on planes, saying the market is too young for it to interfere and it will be up to the service provider to set pricing. It sounds like we could be in for some expensive calls and texts up there.

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