The use of cell phones on planes flying in European airspace has been given approval by UK regulator Ofcom, BBC News reports.
In order to be cleared for using cell phones, a plane will first have to reach an altitude of 3,000 meters (about 10,000 feet). But at the same time, airlines have to satisfy other regulators about exactly how the hardware will be used, the article said.
That’s a subject of some debate, since many folks want to see just data services (like instant messaging and e-mail) but not voice calls, while others would prefer to allow everything.
Ofcom’s decision comes out of a consultation exercise that began in October 2007, the report said. “The decision to offer the services now falls to individual airlines. However, there are other regulatory hurdles to overcome before the technology is considered to be fully approved.”