TRAI has sought permission for in-flight wireless internet services from DoT on 1 May

If the DoT approves the proposal, the DoT will sign a licence contract with the concerned service providers.

Soon flyers in India might have in-flight access to internet data as the Department of Telecommunications is likely to pass a proposal for in-flight data.

TRAI has sought permission for in-flight wireless internet services from DoT on 1 May

A passenger uses a tablet on an American Airlines air plane. Reuters.

According to a Mint report, TRAI has taken approval from the concerned authorities which include the ministry of home affairs. It is scheduled to seek approval from the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) on 1 May 2018.

If the DoT approves the proposal, the DoT will sign a licence contract with the concerned service providers. According to the report, if data services begin, it might also bring voice data services onboard.

When TRAI had first introduced the recommendations in August, DoT had recommended them to add provisions related to the kind of in-flight Wi-Fi service that would be provided. This includes voice, data and video services. It also asked them to reconsider on the entry fee, licence fee and spectrum as well.

The recommendations were again put before the board in September where it was suggested that the licence fee should be Re 1. Other recommendations included were: IFC (In-flight connectivity) providers should be permitted to use the INSAT or foreign satellites outside INSAT system in Indian airspace, the in-flight Wi-Fi service should be used only when an electronic device is allowed to be used, or an announcement will be made regarding the same.

Other suggestions included mobile calling services which should be allowed at a height of 3,000 metres if it is compatible with the terrestrial mobile networks.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation has reportedly said that even airlines would have to invest in this project, where the fitting for equipment for providing the services would cost nearly $400,000 to $600,000. Other concerns include setting a cost per minute charges for in-flight Wi-Fi services.

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