Ofcom, Britain's communications regulator, allows use of phones in the air: Ofcom, in conjunction with other EU nations, will allow the use of mobile phones on UK-registered aircraft. The use of the phones over various airspaces is separately regulated by Britain's Civil Aviation Authority, the European Aviation Safety Agency, and a variety of national aviation agencies. They will separately issue airworthiness approval. The Ofcom portion of this deals with whether the mobile phones and on-board picocells would interfere with other uses of spectrum. The agency will extend existing airline licenses for 2G purposes, with 3G possible in the future.
Air rage is mentioned in the executive summary of the approval; the issue of passengers getting angry about other people talking (or texting) on phones is left to airlines to manage. The regulator already "requires that airlines have appropriate procedures to deal with disruptive passenger events and further requires that such events are notified through the formal reporting system." Ofcom is also concerned about the fees charged and that "consumers will receive unexpectedly high bills." Steps will be taken to make sure callers are informed of the high tariffs, which are expected to run about US$2.50 a minute--but that was in 2007 US dollars.
OnAir, the in-flight operator that's been waiting for years for this and other rulings, issued a statement that they'll be proceeding with all due haste to obtain licenses. Their equipment is already EU certified as airworthy.