TRAI – The Indian telecom regulatory on Friday is said to have recommended Mobile Phone calls as well as Internet Access should be allowed on board aircraft’s in Indian Airspace. So if you wanted to send an Business Email, or had an emergency call to be made to your family or friends, as well as some Business calls, you may soon be able to do that in Indian Aircrafts.
This may also mean beyond 3,000 metres phone calls can also be made or received as well as Internet services can be accessed.
The height restriction is placed to avoided accessing the terrestrial mobile networks.The TRAI is also said to promote the adoption of in-flight connectivity & IFC service providers should also be allowed to be set up at a flat annual token licence fee of Re 1.
The framework recommended for IFC services in Indian airspace should be made applicable to all types of aircraft’s such as commercial airlines, business jets & executive aircraft’s, it said.
TRAI said it had arrived at the recommendation after analyzing the comments received from consultations and open house discussions on the issue.
The Telecom Sector regulator said Internet services through Wi-Fi on-board should be made available when electronic devices are permitted to be used only in flight/air-plane mode.
– Mahesh Uppal, CEO of telecom consultancy firm Com First told IANS.
“In-flight connectivity will expand significantly by 2018. It will be a wonderful service for the traveler as it will help them to use their time productively. But the downside could be the noise levels in flight could increase,” said Hemant Joshi, Partner, Deloitte India.
TRAI said IFC service providers should be required to get itself registered with DoT & it need not necessarily be an Indian entity.
The onboard access technology can also be Wi-Fi, e-mail, internal corporate networks or other, it said.
The IFC service provider be permitted to provide IFC services, after entering into an arrangement with Unified Licensee having appropriate authorization.
TRAI asserted that the regulatory requirements should be same for both Indian registered & foreign registered airlines for offering IFC services.
Stating that 83 per cent of the passengers would prefer airlines that provided internet connections. TRAI said that air passengers expect the same kind of connectivity on board as they do at home or office.
Also, there was an increasing interest in use of mobile phones on aircraft,
it said adding that already over 30 airlines, and 40 jurisdictions, allow such usage on board.