Ofcom has announced it is to look into mobile phone use on aeroplanes and has opened a consultation on the subject, which closes on 30th November.

The regulator has stated: "There is increasing interest in the potential for offering communications services to passengers using mobile phones on aircraft – Mobile Communications on Aircraft or MCA".

From 2010, planes could have their own mobile micro-cell that could be utilised above 3000 metres that would allow plane passengers full use of mobile phones whilst on board.

The proposed services would have to satisfy both EASA (the European Aviation Safety Agency) and CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) requirements before they could be introduced.

The earliest that services could be available from UK registered airlines is 2008, subject to approval by the relevant authorities.

Although the initial proposal covers a 2G, UK service, it's thought to be something that will be rolled out across Europe, and eventually be 3G.