HomeNewsTrai paves the way for in-flight internet connectivity

Trai paves the way for in-flight internet connectivity

Currently foreign carriers offer Internet on their planes but they have to switch the same off while overflying Indian airspace if their service-provider does not have an Indian server.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued its recommendation for in-flight internet connectivity. Trai in its recommendation said that both Internet and calling services should be permitted on flights in the Indian airspace as well.

“Internet Services through Wi-Fi onboard should be made available when electronic devices are permitted to use only in flight/ aeroplane mode,” Trai said in a press release.Currently, foreign carriers offer Internet on their planes but they have to switch the same off while overflying Indian airspace if their service-provider does not have an Indian server.

The telecom regulator has now said that the IFC service provider should be permitted to use either INSAT systems (Indian Satellite System or foreign satellite capacity leased through DoS) or foreign satellites outside INSAT systems in the Indian airspace.

To promote the adoption of IFC services in Indian airspace, the IFC service provider should be imposed a flat annual Licence Fee of a token amount of Rs. 1, Trai said. However, the same may be reviewed and amended at a later stage, if need be.

“Trai said that the frequency bands have been harmonized and coordinated for their use at the ITU. It would facilitate the IFC services in all the bands (L, Ku andKa] in which IFC services are currently being provided. The framework recommended for IFC services in Indian airspace should be made applicable to all types of aircrafts such as commercial airlines, business jets, executive aircrafts etc.”

The telecom regulator also said that a separate category of “IFC Service Provider” should be created to permit IFC services in Indian airspace. “The onboard Internet traffic must be routed to a Satellite Gateway on Indian soil, it added.

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