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You’ll soon be able to make phone calls on flights in Europe

Switch off airplane mode: passengers will soon be able to call, text and use data on flights within the EU

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

To some people, having to turn your phone off (or put it on airplane mode) when you’re on a plane is a bit of a luxury. It’s the chance to have a bit of time to yourself: a few hours when no one can bother you. Ahh, bliss.

But if you’re one of those people who finds it a bit annoying being isolated from the outside world while you’re in flight, here’s some fab news: air passengers in Europe will soon be able to use smartphones in mid-air.

Aircraft in the European Union have been given the go-ahead by the European Commission to equip themselves with tech that’ll let passengers call, text and use data during their flight. The move is designed to make the most of the capabilities of new 5G network technology. But it isn’t just 5G that’ll be allowed on planes in the EU: previous mobile technology networks like 4G and 3G will also be allowed. It’ll all be available for use by June 30 2023.

All of which is either a blessing or a curse – depending on whether you relish or detest turning your phone off while you fly. In any case, prepare to say goodbye to radio silence on planes in the very near future! 

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