In-Flight Internet on Indian Airspace is Just Around the Corner
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Friday recommended allowing mobile telephony and Internet services for passengers during air travel in the country through both satellite and terrestrial network.
The Department of Telecom had sought views of Trai on 10 August 2017, over proposal to introduce voice, data and video services over Indian airspace for domestic, international and overflying flights in Indian air space.
As we had reported in the latter part of 2017, the proposal to sanction use of in-flight Wi-Fi was on the table, and a decision has been taken right on cue.
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. The operation of MCA services should be permitted with minimum height restriction of 3,000 meters in Indian airspace for its compatibility with terrestrial mobile networks.Trai Recommendation
The regulator said that Internet services through Wi-Fi onboard should be made available when electronic devices are permitted to be used only in in-flight or airplane mode and announcement regarding this should be made after boarding is completed and the aircraft is about to taxi.
The Quint even got a chance to test the capability of in-flight Wi-Fi last year, where we managed to get speeds up to 25Mbps airborne.
The regulator recommended creation of an IFC Service Provider for IFC services at annual licence fee of Re 1 only initially, after entering into an arrangement with telecom licence holder having appropriate authorisation.
The regulator said that the IFC service provider should be permitted to use either INSAT systems (Indian Satellite System or foreign satellite capacity leased through Department of Space) or foreign satellites outside INSAT systems in the Indian airspace.
It added that routing of traffic through satellite gateway in India should be imposed regardless of whether the satellite in question is an Indian satellite system or not.
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(With inputs from PTI.)