The proposed in-flight mobile calls and internet services recommendation by TRAI was targeted for the next year. But it seems that the wait will get over soon, as the telecom department is set to allow in-flight connectivity in next two months, so it could start as early as October this year, reports ET.
According to the report, Department of Telecom (DoT) officials told ET that they have done meetings with both telecom operators and airline companies, and there are already a few shown interest in offering the in-flight mobile connectivity services. The guidelines for these services have been mostly followed the telecom regulator’s recommendations, and once the telecom department clears the plan, it will take another two weeks for them to get the Law Ministry’s approval.
“We are in the final stages of in-flight connectivity licence norms and the service option will be given to carriers and telecom companies within two months,” report quoted a DoT official.
Earlier this year, TRAI recommended that both internet access and mobile phone calls should be permitted in flights in India. It was suggested that mobile communication on aircraft (MCA) services should be permitted with minimum height restriction of 3,000 metres. Which means that beyond 3,000 meters altitude (about 9,850 feet) you’ll be able to take calls and access internet on a flight.
Apparently, to get internet facility onboard it’ll require Indian carriers an investment of about $1 million and about 10 days for installation. According to the report, experts have suggested that it would not be easy for airlines to spare money and make a loss for grounding the aircraft for such a long period. An executive was quoted saying, “each aircraft will require an investment of about $1 million and have to be grounded for at least ten days to retrofit the aircraft with technology to be able to offer Internet on board.”