TRAI nod to in-flight connectivity

 The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Friday issued its recommendations on in-flight connectivity (IFC), paving the way for flyers to avail Internet and mobile services on board aircraft.

“By meeting some requirements, airlines can offer both these services. It is up to them which one to offer and whether to offer them,” said a TRAI official. Most airlines globally offer Wifi on board as allowing mobile calls could be too much of a nuisance for fellow travellers.
“Both, Internet and mobile communication on aircraft (MCA) service should be permitted as IFC in the Indian airspace. The operation of MCA services should be permitted with minimum height restriction of 3,000 metres in Indian airspace for its compatibility with terrestrial mobile networks,” the telecom regulator said.

“Internet Services through Wi-Fi onboard should be made available when electronic devices are permitted to use only in flight/ airplane mode,” it adds. 

The regulator has recommended that a separate category of “IFC service provider” 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,” TRAI said.

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