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The European Commission (EC) has approved the use of mobile phones on flights for passengers.
The decision was finalised after UK telecoms regulator Ofcom approved the use of the phones without any risk to mobile networks on the ground.
Viviane Reding, telecoms commissioner for the EU, said that one regulatory decision for all European airspace was needed for the service to work.
"Pan-European telecom services, such as in-flight mobile telephony, need a regulatory 'one-stop shop' to operate throughout Europe," she said.
The phones will be linked to an onboard cellular network connected to ground through a satellite and the Commission has also ensured that licensing be mutual between national telecoms authorities for mobile communications services.
Any air safety issues will be provided by the European Aviation Safety Agency for the whole EU and by civil aviation authorities as well as national justice authorities to ensure the safety of the technology on board.
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