The decision whether to allow mobile phones to be used on aircrafts is now up to individual airlines. According to the BBC website, mobiles could be used once a plane has ascended to an altitude of 3,000 metres. In order for the system to work, each plane would need to be fitted with a small mobile phone base station, called pico cells. Switched on after take-off, the station allows mobile coverage onboard the aircraft.
While Ofcom's decision opens the way for airlines to provide such services, they would still need to gain permission from The European Aviation Safety Agency and the UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). While it is understood many have shown interest in providing such a service, a spokesman for CAA claims: 'None have formally approached us yet.' If airlines do begin to allow the use of mobile phones on their aircraft, we predict a rise in air rage.