The Australian communications company Telstra has begun trialling the use of mobiles on planes, including the ability to deliver a broadband signal to aircraft that allows phone users to use 4G to browse the web, send and receive emails, make video calls, watch movies and download music and photos.

The testing of the network on mock flights between Melbourne and Sydney has so far delivered fast speeds of up to 15 megabits per second.

Special antennas have been erected on four phone towers between the two capitals to deliver broadband signals to passengers en route.

Trials were conducted on a twin-propeller aircraft and a Cessna mustang jet that flew at the height of a commercial flight at 30,000 feet.

Testing has not yet extended to include sending and receiving text messages and making phone calls.