Bangalore, February 11 2018: Travelers on Indian carriers can hope to surf the Internet and make mobile calls while in flight very soon.
, India's Minister of State for Civil Aviation, redcently tweeted via his official Twitter account, "TRAI: WiFi in Flights: TRAI allows Wi-Fi and mobile services on board for flyers in and over India".
He was referring to a recommendation by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India a day earlier to allow WiFi and mobile services on board civilian aviation services in and over India. When rolled out, it will be the first time such a service will be made available in India.
While the internet can be provided from the moment a plane taxies and personal electronic devices (PEDs) put on “flight mode”, mobile phone services will be allowed when aircraft are flying above an altitude of 3,000 metre
The TRAI note states:" Both, Internet and Mobile Communication on Aircrqaft (MCA) service should be permitted as In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) in the Indian airspace.The operation of MCA services should be permitted with minimum height restriction of 3000 meters in Indian airspace for its compatibility with terrestrial mobile networks. Internet Services through Wi-Fi onboard should be made available when electronic devices are permitted to use only in flight/ airplane mode.A separate category of "IFC Service Provider" should be created to permit IFC services in Indian airspace. The IFC service provider should be required to get itself registered with the DoT and it need not necessarily be in Indian entity"
Many international airlines now allow Internet access while in flight -- and telephone calls from special handsets. Both are paid services.