8/6/2008 11:54:00 AM
Ofcom proposes regulation to use mobile phones on flights
UK regulator Ofcom has drafted a proposed regulation that will allow for the introduction of mobile phone usage on aircraft.
The new proposals, which were launched following a consultation that began in October 2007, are compatible with recent EU legislation aimed at harmonising the use of mobile spectrum for aircraft in the EU.
Under the new proposals, radio equipment for ‘Mobile Communications on Aircraft’ (MCA) would be licensed under the 2006 Wireless Telegraphy Act and licences will be issued to UK airlines on request.
According to Ofcom, MCA systems consist of an on-board picocell base station and an on-board Network Control Unit (NCU), and will use the 1800MHz frequency band.
However, Ofcom warned that its consultation had ‘raised concerns about passenger welfare and the potential for discomfort, anti-social behaviour and “air rage” on board.’
As these subjects were beyond Ofcom’s remit, the regulator called for the individual airlines and bodies such as the UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to look at the issue.