Nelco, which is a Tata Enterprise, today announced the launch of India's first Aero In-Flight Communication (IFC) services. Nelco announced the IFC services in partnership with Panasonic Avionics Corporation. This essentially means that airlines will soon be able to offer internet connectivity in flights as well. With the launch of these services, it will be possible for international aircrafts flying over India as well as domestic airlines to offer broadband internet services to the passengers on board. A press statement from Nelco also confirmed that Vistara has already signed up for Aero IFC services and will likely be the first domestic carrier to launch in-flight connectivity.
Nelco Launches In-Flight Connectivity Services in India
Back in December 2018, the Cabinet has approved the long-awaited proposal of implementing in-flight connectivity services in India. To recall, in December 2018, the Government of India announced the licenses for In-Flight and Maritime Communications (IFMC) that allows airlines to offer internet services while flying over the Indian skies, both for international and Indian aircrafts.
The IFMC license is a key initiative of the Telecom Ministry, a move to liberalise satellite communication services in India. Nelco obtained the IFMC license and is the first Indian company to enable communication services. As noted, Vistara already joined hands with Nelco and we might see the airline implementing IFC very soon.
In-Flight Connectivity services in India were expected to kick off in December 2019 itself, but the launch has been delayed due to some reasons. Other airlines may soon join hands with Nelco to launch the service on their aircrafts as well.
Nelco plans to establish itself as a leader in the Aero IFC services space in India in the near future, read a press release from the company.
Reliance Jio and Indo Teleports Also Applied for IFC License
In the past, we have reported that telecom operator Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel's arm Indo Teleports also applied for In-Flight Connectivity license in the country. However, Nelco is the only company in India that has successfully operationalised the entire scope of the IFMC license comprising of both, the Aero In-Flight Communication and Maritime Communication services. We might see the other companies as well launching their IFC services in India.
In other news, SpiceJet and Vistara showed interest to implement IFC at the earliest and the latter already partnered with Nelco to become the first airline to launch In-Flight Connectivity in India.