The European Commission has decided to allow airlines to offer their passengers Internet access via 3G and 4G connections so they can send emails and surf the Web while in flight.
Spectrum for 3G (UMTS) and 4G (LTE) communications may be used above an altitude of 3,000 meters. In the past the EC has allowed 2G (GSM) on-board aircraft flying in the EU. The move follows a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) ruling, which said that it will allow the use of personal electronics such as tablets, smartphones and e-readers during all phases of a flight.
The rules will apply to all devices except bulky ones like laptops, which still need to be stowed during take-off, landing and taxiing, EASA said. Of course the moment you connect you could find yourself facing a mother of all phone bills, but at least you can check your email on long flight.