Mobile phone calls to be allowed on planes

Ofcom, which oversees the communications sector in UK, has given the green light for the British aeronautic industry to install the necessary hardware to allow passengers to make mobile phone calls onboard.

This leaves the Underground system as the only place where you can't make a call on a mobile yet.

Only when the planes are above 10,000 feet (around 3.2Kms) will passengers be allowed to make the calls; this is done in order to prevent any interference with existing infrastructures.

Picocells - similar to what O2 is planning to ship to its individual customers - will be installed on airplanes thereby allowing passengers to make calls for a fee.

Because this is probably the driving idea behind getting planes onboard. At the moment, some airlines are already charging up to £5 a minute and if other European regulators follow Ofcom's footsteps, one could expect that mobile phones and even broadband could become widespread within a few years.

It is not surprising that companies like Ryanair or BMI have been pushing for this service which will allow them to increase their average revenue per user.

Ryanair is already selling scratch cards, snacks and drinks on their flights and mobile phone calls could also become a viable revenue source.