Telecom Commission Gives Green Flag to In-Flight Mobile Connectivity in India

The Telecom Commission, which is headed by Aruna Sundararajan today approved the proposal of making mobile connectivity services available in the flights. Going forward, passengers will be able to use mobile call and data services on domestic and international flights within the country’s limit. During the meeting held today for finalising the National Telecom Policy 2018, Telecom Commission, has approved the IFC in Indian Airlines. Initially though, this facility will be limited to certain aircraft carriers, PTI Told. The Telecom Commission of India, which is the highest decision body in the entire system when it comes to matters of telecom, held a meeting with Trai where it also gave the nod to Trai’s recommendation paper on the same issue, relating to internet telephony.

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The Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan, also said yes for the creation of an ombudsman for dealing with telecom grievances. This can also be deemed as a big development as the setting up of the ombudsman will require an amendment to the Trai act and will be done under the regulator’s scrutiny.

This decision has been taken by the commission after observing that approximately 10 million grievances are received per quarter in the telecom sector. Aruna Sundararajan also said that the setting up of the ombudsman would pave the way for a better and satisfactory consumer grievance system which would cater to efficient redressal of problems faced by the consumers.

Back in October 2017, the telecom regulator Trai released the Consultation Paper on In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) Services to be implemented in the Indian airlines. Some airlines across several countries already implemented IFC. Trai sought comments from the public and stakeholders on which services to be implemented under three points: Internet services, Mobile Communication services (MCA service), Both Internet and MCA.

In January 2018, Trai gave a green signal for the implementation of IFC in Indian airlines stating that both internet and mobile connectivity services should be allowed under the In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) in Indian airspace. “Both, Internet and Mobile Communication on Aircraft (MCA) service should be permitted as In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) in the Indian airspace,” said Trai.

Now the telecom commission has approved this. It is also expected that the highest decision-making body will release NTP 2018 draft today, of which the details are yet to be revealed. Even though the telecom commission approved IFC in India, it might take some time for airlines to rollout the service. It could be rolled out by December 2018.

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