Centre Moves Closer To Approving In-Flight WiFi Over Indian Airspace
Centre Moves Closer To Approving In-Flight WiFi Over Indian AirspaceA Wi-Fi on board sign inside a plane (Getty Images)

The Telecom Commission, the highest decision making body of the Department of Telecom (DoT) is set to approve a proposal to allow data services during flights at its next meeting on 1 May, reports Mint. The proposal requires approvals from several departments and ministries including the Ministry of Home Affairs. Data services would be the first to make their way to flights and will be followed up with voice services.

Once the proposal is in place, airlines can offer WiFi during flights and decided on the pricing. The DoT would sign a licence agreement with teleom providers for this.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was tasked with formulating the policy with a focus on licencing terms, provision of voice, data and video services and user fees, spectrum fee and entry fees, back in August. The DoT then suggested the creation of an in-flight connectivity (IFC) provider.

TRAI has suggested that IFC providers use either INSAT or any other foreign satellite leased through the department of space. WiFi would be available to users when electronic devices can be used in the aircraft while calls would be available above 3,000 metres. These measures would be ensured to prevent any encroachment on the operations of terrestrial internet and voice services.

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