Back in late January this year, we told you that you might soon be able to make calls and use Internet in flight in India as TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) had recommended permitting in-flight mobile connectivity in India. Well, that’s going to be a reality soon, as Telecom Commission – the highest decision making body of telecom department in India – has approved TRAI’s recommendations.
As a result of Telecom Commission’s approval of TRAI’s recommendations, air passengers in Indian airspace will be able to make calls, send SMS and use on-board Wi-Fi in flight. However, it’s worth noting that these services, especially voice calls, will only be availed to the passengers once the flight reaches an altitude of 3000 meters.
“Almost all recommendations by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on this have been accepted. We are expediting the process (to start) and within 3-4 months it should be ready. We will be operationalising this decision immediately” said Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan.
Having said that, these mobile services will be offered as In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) services in Indian airspace, and, the prices at which these services will be charged will be left to the respective airlines to decide. Hence, you can expect different charges for these services when flying with different airlines.
Moreover, apart from approving TRAI’s recommendations for in-flight mobile services in India, the Telecom Commission also approved the creation of telecom ombudsman for better addressing of consumer grievances in the telecom sector.
Now only if someone in the government can increase the minimum broadband speed in the country soon.