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More Approvals for In-Flight Cellphone Use

U.K. telecommunications regulator Ofcom has given its blessing to in-flight mobile phone use on U.K.-registered aircraft, once other agencies agree.The system being contemplated involves installing mobile base stations on the aircraft, which would be switched on after takeoff. Calls made from the plane would be routed through a satellite link to networks on the ground, as in the systems announced by Qantas and Emirates airlines last week. Before airlines can go ahead with offering mobiles services, though, the U.K.'s Civil Aviation Authority would need to sign sign off on programs to train cabin crew in how to use the systems, and the European Aviation Safety Agency needs to approve any hardware that would be installed.

London-based satellite operator Inmarsat Plc, whose network carried the call made from an Emirates flight, said that Air France is also testing mobile-phone services.Bloomberg.com, BBC News