The European Union has announced plans to provide in-flight network connectivity to passengers. The move will allow airlines across EU countries to give 5G connectivity in flights.
The EU has ordered its member states to make 5G frequency bands available in planes by June 30, 2023 and implement the new directives. Once the directives are in place, air travellers will be able to call, surf the internet, and stream and use apps on the internet.
The new order of mid-flight connectivity comes under EU’s Digital Future Strategy and will affect all EU member states. While there are some airlines that offer Wi-Fi connectivity to passengers, the internet service is comparatively slower in flights, at around 3 MHz, than 20 to 160 MHz available on ground and in homes.
The new 5G system by the EU is said to offer over 100 Mbps, allowing air travellers to stream films and download videos at high-speed. Earlier, there was a concern in the US that 5G frequencies could interfere with flights and lead to incorrect altitude measurements. However, this is not an issue in the UK and the EU, as these regions have a different set of frequencies for 5G, and there are lower power settings than those allowed in the US.