TRAI Allows Mobile Calls and Internet Usage in Flights

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TRAI Allows Mobile Calls and Internet in Flights

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India released recommendation on phone calls and internet Usage in flights in Indian airspace. However, it had suggested that the service should be permitted within minimum height restriction of 3,000 meters in the Indian airspace. Generally, a flight attains the altitude of 3,000 meters approximately 4-5 minutes after take off.

The Department of Telecom sought views of TRAI with a proposal to launch voice, data and video services for domestic, international and overflying flights in Indian airspace on August 10, 2017. Also, TRAI was asked for recommendations, terms and conditions and other issues such as entry fee, license fee, spectrum-related matters involving usage charges and other states.

Additionally, TRAI also called for establishing a separate category of service provider known as in-flight connectivity (IFC) service provider. In order to promote in-flight connectivity in India, the regulator said that initially the new category of service providers should be charged a license fee of a token amount of Rs 1 per annum and that it could be changed going ahead if need be.

Furthermore, TRAI also said that the IFC service provider should get itself registered
with the Department of Telecommunications. But it is not necessarily to be an Indian entity. It added that the regulatory requirements would be the same for Indian and foreign entities in the picture — airlines as well as service providers.

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