Government Paves Way For Wi-Fi On Flights!

People will soon be able to make calls and access internet through their phones during air travel within Indian territory as the government has notified rules for providing such services.

The government has made a set of guidelines under the Indian Flight and Maritime Connectivity Rules (IFMC), 2018, which says that Indian and foreign airlines operating in the country can provide in-flight voice and data services in partnership with a valid Indian telecom licence holder.

The services will be activated once the aircraft attains a minimum height of 3,000 metres in Indian airspace to avoid interference with terrestrial mobile networks, the rules state.

The IFMC licences will be granted against an annual fee of Re 1 for a period of 10 years and the permit holder will have to pay licence fees and usage charges based on revenue earned from providing services.

However, airlines and service providers will decide how much they want to charge the customer. It is also up to them whether they want to offer both internet and calling services or limit themselves to Wi-Fi services only.

Most airlines globally offer only Wi-Fi on board as allowing mobile calls could be too much of a nuisance for fellow travellers.

This development helps India, one of the fastest growing aviation markets and the second largest smartphone market, join a long list of countries like the US, UK, Canada and China that have been offering the services for a couple of years now.

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