Soon, you may be able to make calls and browse the Internet on board flights in the Indian airspace.
Telecom regulator TRAI has recommended that both telephony and internet services be permitted on domestic flights - the practice is already allowed on aircraft flying global.
Air travellers in India and also those flying over the country can now have onboard access to internet and mobile phone services with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) allowing in-flight connectivity (IFC) on Friday. It also recommended that the regulatory requirement should be the same for both Indian-registered and foreign-registered airlines for offering IFC services in Indian airspace.
In addition, the framework recommended for IFC services in Indian airspace should be made applicable to all types of aircrafts such as commercial airlines, business jets and executive aircrafts. To promote the concept of in-flight connectivity in India, the regulator said that initially the new category of service providers should be charged a licence fee of Rs 1 per annum, and that it could be changed going ahead if need be. Experts are upbeat over the recommendations.
The telecom body also recommended that internet services through Wi-Fi onboard should be made available when electronic devices are permitted to be used only in-flight or airplane mode.
IFC service providers should be allowed flexibility in technology use and frequencies that are consistent with worldwide standards, and cause no harmful interference, the recommendations say.
TRAI also suggested setting up a gateway in India to provide an effective mechanism to lawfully intercept and monitor the in-cabin internet traffic while the aircraft is in Indian airspace. "Now it is up to airlines which one of these to offer", said a TRAI official speaking to Times of India.
Airlines around the world offer Wi-Fi on-board the flight.