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Germany greenlights mobes on planes

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The German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Housing will next year lift the ban on the use of mobile phones on commercial flights, according to German newsmagazine Focus. The German Aerospace Centre (DLR) says that mobile phone signals do not interfere with onboard electronics. Several European airlines say that they too are considering the removal of the in-flight ban on GSM phones.

Last year, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed lifting the ban on the use of GPRS, EDGE and 3G phones onboard. Initially, only the 1800 MHz variants would be allowed to use.

In practice it means you no longer have to switch off your mobile phone, but full GSM access at 35,000 feet isn't technically feasible without some help.

Swedish vendor Ericsson recently announced its newly developed system GSM on Aircraft, an airborne version of the world's most sold radio base station in the RBS 2000 family, the RBS 2708. Its functionality matches terrestrial systems, according to the company. Airbus says it intends to equip its short and medium-range aircraft in the A320 series with mobile phone technology. ®

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