The European Commission is now closer than ever to allowing inflight 5G data and calls for the first time.
In its current state, it’s thought that passengers would connect to a base station on-board that would then connect to a ground-based network via satellite.
With that system in place people will be able to place calls, send texts, and use their own data while in the air.
“5G will enable innovative services for people and growth opportunities for European companies,” EU commissioner Thierry Breton said via an announcement. “The sky is no longer a limit when it comes to possibilities offered by super-fast, high-capacity connectivity.” However, the announcement doesn’t confirm when the new 5G connectivity will go live.
It isn’t thought that allowing 5G connectivity on an airplane will cause any safety issues. In fact, Airplane mode is no longer a requirement when flying, at least in terms of guidance issued by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, The Verge notes.
Phones use the 5GHz spectrum and above, while the planes use the 4.2GHz to 4.4GHz range for their own communication and connectivity use.
This will only apply to Europe, of course. Airlines in the United States remain concerned about 5G connectivity and what it could mean for airplanes and airports.