The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has dropped plans to allow mobile phones to be used on airplanes within the US, saying that it had "insufficient technical information" to make a decision.
The FCC started studying potential interference issues for cellular networks on the ground by phones on airplanes in December 2004.
In-flight use of mobile phones is prohibited by the Federal Aviation Administration after fears that the devices could interfere with the aircraft's communication systems.
The FCC also deemed it premature to issue any statements on the impact of cellular devices in mid-air because airlines and device makers are still conducting their own studies.
The government institution may reconsider its position at a later time if new technical data becomes available.
OnAir is preparing to offer mobile service onboard European aircraft. The service will only support the GSM standard, and passengers will only be able to use their phones above 10,000ft to prevent connecting to domestic mobile networks.
Although OnAir has yet to obtain regulatory approval, company officials have dismissed such hurdles as a formality.
Air France is scheduled to start a six-month test of the service shortly. Ryanair has already committed to equipping its fleet of Boeing 737s with OnAir's base station that uses a satellite connection to relay voice and data traffic to the ground.
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