inflight connectivity

Government to permit inflight connectivity soon

According to a PTI report, the Department of Telecommunications is setting up a plan to give access to data services in the flights and water vessels within Indian territorial boundaries. In the initial rollout of inflight connectivity guidelines, according to the report, both voice and data services would be provided to passengers on flights and maritime transport within the national boundaries.

“DoT will initially seek application for data services under IFC (in-flight connectivity) guidelines. There are some issues around gateway for voice so that will not start immediately,” a Department of Telecom official told PTI.  Most of the developed markets already have the service of in-flight connectivity.

The PTI reports that although the use of mobile phones will still be restricted during take-off and landing, the Telecom Commission has approved lifting the ban on the use of mobile phones and internet services at cruising altitudes.

Many airlines are offering Wi-Fi for passengers worldwide, but they have to switch off the facility once they enter the Indian airspace. The report also mentioned AirAsia, Air France, British Airways, Egypt Air, Emirates, Air New Zealand, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways and Virgin Atlantic which are among 30 airlines that are already allowing mobile phone use on aircraft but not in Indian airspace.

The DoT is most likely to approach the Law Ministry next week for the review of these guidelines before notifying them.

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