Ofcom has given approval for the use of mobile phones on planes flying in European airspace, reports the BBC.

Following a review of the situation, launched late last year, the regulator has issued plans that will let airlines offer mobile phone services on UK-registered aircraft once a plane has reached an altitude of 3000 metres or more.

The coverage whilst in the air will be provided by mobile phone base stations, called pico cells, that will connect calls via satellite.

The choice to offer such services will be made by individual airlines, although regulatory procedures will have to be completed in each instance for the hardware to be approved and operating procedures put in place.

Ofcom said it would investigate any "excessive charges and abuses of competition" if airlines and mobile networks try and set call and connection prices too high.