A day after approving the use of personal devices during takeoff and landing, European regulators have given the green light to the use of 3G and LTE networks in flight.
The European Commission gave permission for airlines to offer passengers 3G and LTE service aboard aircraft altitude of 3,000 meters, or just over 9,800 feet. Before this, only 2G had been allowed on board aircraft flying in the EU.
This means that passengers on aircraft that permit it can deactivate airplane mode once they're above the required altitude and start using their phones as if they were on the ground, according to a statement.
The changes do not automatically making surfing the Web and sending large attachments a customer right. The move gives airlines permission to set the rules on tablet and smartphone usage aboard their aircraft.
The decision comes a day after the European Aviation Safety Agency announced the approval of the use of personal electronic devices such as tablets, smartphones, e-readers and mp3 players on aircraft during all phases of flight if placed in “flight mode” or “airplane mode.” The EASA currently allows PEDs on aircrafts except when landing, taxiing or taking off.
The decision is in line with a similar change by the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States that will allows passengers to read e-books, play games, and watch videos on their devices during all phases of flight.