In-Flight Connectivity Gets Final Approval – Now Talk, Chat, Surf While Onboard A Flight!

However, this service can be only provided if the aircraft flies above 3000 meters.


In-Flight Connectivity Receives A Green Signal In India

Department of Telecom or DoT has now allowed in-flight connectivity for all flyers. This means that now you can talk, chat, surf Internet while flying.

In the next 3 to 4 months, all domestic and international carriers would be able to provide Internet for flyers.

Big Decision For Flyers: In-flight Connectivity Allowed!

A special Telecom Commission, chaired by Department of Telecom (DoT) Secretary Aruna Sundararajan has given the green signal for in-flight connectivity in India.

This means that airlines will now be able to provide telecom connectivity and Internet for flyers.

However, this service can be only provided if the aircraft flies above 3000 meters.

In a statement, Aruna said,

“Almost all recommendations by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on this have been accepted. We are expediting the process (to start) and within three months it should be ready,”

Now, no additional approval needs to be made, and the matter won’t be passed to Lok Sabha as well. Telecom Commission’s verdict is final on this.

TRAI had strongly pitched for Internet and Mobile Communication on Aircraft (MCA) on all flights inside India. In their recommendation to DoT, TRAI had said,

“The authority recommends that both, Internet and Mobile Communication on Aircraft (MCA) service should be permitted as In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) in the Indian airspace,”

Earlier, Govt had denied in-flight connectivity, citing security reasons.

How Will In-Flight Connectivity Work?

A special category of license called In-Flight Connectivity Provider will be created. A token license fee of Re 1 shall be charged from this carrier, whose specialization would be to provide in-flight mobile connectivity and Internet facility to flyers, once the flight reaches 3000 meters.

Now, whether foreign providers and foreign satellites would be allowed to be used for this service is not clear. Arun said,

“but there had been an earlier committee of secretaries meeting that decided that it should be an Indian satellite or a Department of Space approved satellite and the gateway should be in India.”

How Much Will It Charge?

Now, as the final approval has been received for in-flight connectivity, the only question which remains is: How will the service charge.

As a new in-flight connectivity provider has to be roped in, there will be an additional charge to enable mobile phone coverage above 3000 meters.

Our earlier report had predicted that flyers can be charged as high as 30% of the overall flight charges, for using their mobile phone and internet on the flight.

Will this be feasible? Do share your views and opinions, by commenting right here!

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