European-based airline operators will require a national licence from their own country to enable them to offer pan-European in-flight mobile access.
The EC's information, society and media commissioner, Viviane Reding, clarified this in a statement this week, noting: "Pan-European telecom services, such as in-flight mobile telephony, need a regulatory 'one-stop shop' to operate throughout Europe."
What with Ryan Air, Air France and other airline operators planning to roll-out in-flight mobile phone services in the very near future, it comes as no surprise to hear that the EC is already warning mobile operators about excessive charges for in-air phone use.
Viviane Reding also warned mobile operators in a recent statement that:
"We expect operators to be transparent and innovative in their price offerings. In-flight mobile phone services can be a very interesting new service, especially for those business travellers who need to be ready to communicate wherever they are, wherever they go. However, if consumers receive shock phone bills, the service will not take off."
You can read more about how the picocell-to-satellite technology works on TechRadar via the links to the right of this news.
Stay tuned for further news updates when we hear more from specific operators and airline firms on their plans for in-flight mobile services.