In-Flight Connectivity: Here’s What You May Have To Pay!

It will soon be possible for Indian travellers to use Wi-Fi and make calls while flying as the Department of Telecom(DoT) is set to allow In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) services from October.

As per the existing rules, no person can use any electronic device which intentionally transmits radio signals while aboard an aircraft. However, with the advancement in technology, it is not very difficult for Indian carriers to launch this facility after they get the licence.

How Much Will It Cost The Airline

According to experts, it would be a herculean task to provide IFC services since the cost of installation and the turnaround time to do so will be quite high.

It is estimated that the cost of installation will be around $100,000 per aircraft and turnaround time would be about eight days. However, this estimate depends on the aircraft type, fleet size, bandwidth, other technical specifications and regulatory requirements.

Estimates may vary, but the cost of providing IFC is certainly going to be high.

How Much Will You Have To Pay

Given the cost and turnaround time, it shouldn’t be a surprise if IFC services are expensive, at least in the initial stages.

Airlines across the world use different pricing strategies for connectivity services. The charges for net connection might range from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 for 30 minutes to an hour as per international standards.

However, a lot would depend on the packaging of the IFC services being offered by the airlines. To differentiate their product experience from other airlines, they may offer special packages to frequent fliers and premium customers or may even base pricing on the time of the flight (early morning flights generally have more corporate travellers).

Aviation experts believe that within a couple of years of the launch, one can expect these services to become free.

Airlines such as  Emirates, JetBlue and Turkish Airlines already offer free IFC. In two-three years, we can expect IFC services in India to become free of cost like in hotels, restaurants and malls.

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