New Delhi, May 2 2018: The Telecom Commission, the nodal agency for telecom in India has approved in-flight mobile services on flights in Indian air space. It will enable voice and data calls and Internet access by passengers.
The Department of Telecommunications, has accepted almost all the recommendations and is poised to make this happen.Telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan said a separate category of licencees called in-flight connectivity provider would be created . These will provide internet as well as voice services within Indian territorial airspace on both domestic and international flights. The process of framing licence terms for in-flight connectivity (IFC) providers has started and applications would be invited. The initial licence fee would he Re 1 she added. The department will ensure that the data access should be via Indian satelllite or a Department of Space approved satellite and the gateway should be in India. These processes are expected to be completed in 3-4 months.
Airlines are expected to charge for the service at rates lower or comparable to what prevails internationally... which means be prepared to shell out Rs 500 - 1500 for the privilege.
Minister for Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, has welcomed the Telecom Commission’s approval for offering in-flight connectivity within Indian airspace. He said that the decision would enable flyers to avail data and voice services during flights over Indian airspace and the government will now work towards creating the license framework for a special category of service providers called ‘In-flight connectivity provider.
He added: "These developments mean that airlines are now equipped to bring dramatic, yet cost effective, enhancements to the passenger experience –with passengers ordering products from their phones and tablets and arranging to have them delivered to their homes, or the hotel on arrival at their destination. Connectivity to the ground means cabin crews can help passengers to change their onward transit plans to accommodate for changes to their flight, while they are still in the air."