3G and 4G on EU Flights Given the Go Ahead

The EU has changed its rules so airline passengers may soon be able to go online using smartphones, tablets and eReaders on planes flying in the region.

The first stage of this process will enable passengers to use devices in flight mode during takeoff and landing for the first time, but the European Aviation Safety Agency has said that in the long term, it is looking to ensure people will also be able to make calls.

EU airlines will now be able to develop in-flight internet services, delivered through Mobile Communications On-board Aircraft technology and charged at international roaming prices. The EU commission believes such data traffic has already increased by more than 300 per cent between 2011 and 2012.

The European Aviation Safety Agency will publish its full guidance on this by the end of November.