India is among few countries which still don’t allow internet access on flights. This might change soon as the government is currently working on the issue and a favourable decision to allow WiFi facility onboard may come in next 10 days.
“The matter has been taken up with other government departments. You may soon get the good news as there is a broad understanding (on the issue),” Aviation secretary RN Choubey was quoted as saying.
As far as pricing is concerned, it will entirely depend on the Airline with no interference from government.
Foreign airlines may have internet on board but are allowed to provide WiFi service only if they have a local server. If not, the service is switched off for the time being and is switched back on as soon as the plane exits the Indian airspace.
For those who are wondering about the WiFi mechanism on an aircraft, Internet on board works similar to what we see on the ground. Generally, an airplane collects signals from same towers as on ground but when the aircraft is in the middle of an ocean or out of range it connects with the satellite stations in order to get Internet signals. As far as the speed is concerned, you won’t get insane high speed due to the fact that an airplane is constantly moving. Moreover it is generally quite expensive as getting internet on board requires change in design, implementation of signal antennas which eventually leads to more fuel consumption.
That is why, people only use WiFi services on an airplane only for emergency services. Though some airlines do provide free WiFi but either it’s for a limited period of time or it is as slow as useless.
Whatever the case maybe, it will be a welcome change if WiFi service could be used on board in the Indian airspace. No doubt, it will empty your pockets a bit but it could be extremely useful in emergency situations.