plane interior

As part of the European Union’s digital strategy, all passengers flying within the EU will soon be able to send texts, conduct phone calls and use data services in-flight. This will be of particular benefit to locals, with Malta being on the periphery of the Union.

‘‘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,” remarked Thierry Breton, EU commissioner for the internal market.

The service is provided within the cabin of an equipped aircraft using special network equipment, the so-called ‘pico-cell’, to connect the users and route calls, texts, and data, typically via a satellite network, between the airplane and the ground-based mobile network.

The European Commission also amended an implementing decision on 5GHz frequency bands, which makes the bands available for Wi-Fi in road transport, for example in cars and buses. The amending decision lays the foundation for innovations in the automotive industry and potentially for metaverse applications. According to the amendment of the implementing decision, the member states shall make the 5GHz frequency bands available for use aboard road vehicles as early as possible and at the latest by 30th June 2023.

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