The European Commission (EC) detailed progress in delivering 5G coverage for in-flight connectivity and road transport, plans it stated would bolster the opportunities to provide innovative services across both sectors.
Rules covering the availability of previous generations of mobile technologies have been updated to cover 5G, enabling airlines to provide messaging, phone calls and data services comparable to ground-based options.
It stated in-flight 5G services will be provided through picocells, which will connect users and route calls, texts and data through satellite networks.
The EC has maintained regulation to reserve certain frequencies for mobile communications on aircraft since 2008.
Internal market Commissioner Thierry Breton noted “5G will enable innovative services for people and growth opportunities for European companies”.
“The sky is no longer a limit when it comes to possibilities offered by super-fast, high-capacity connectivity”.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission has been reluctant to allow on-board connectivity, stating in 2020 there was strong opposition from the airline industry on national and safety security grounds.
The US telecoms and aviation industries have also recently been embroiled in a row over the use of C-Band spectrum in the country.
In road transport, the EC stated a decision on implementing 5G in the 5GHz bands would enable provision of Wi-Fi services in cars and buses, among others.
European Union member states are required to clear the spectrum no later than 30 June 2023.
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