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Trai seeks public views on in-flight mobile services

LiveMint logoLiveMint 29-09-2017 PTI

New Delhi: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Friday started consultation process on framing guidelines for full- fledged in-flight mobile services.

Trai, in its consultation paper on in-flight connectivity (IFC), said, “Given the rapidly expanding demand for ‘in- flight communication’, there is a proposal to introduce in- flight connectivity for voice, data and video services over Indian airspace for domestic, international and over-flying flight in Indian airspace.”

The department of telecom (DoT), through its reference dated 10 August 2017, has requested Trai to furnish its recommendations on licensing terms and conditions for provision of IFC, it said.

The Trai said that advancement in satellite technologies is making it possible to provide ubiquitous coverage across the globe. “It is possible for passengers to have telecom services in the aircraft travelling at 800 kilometres per hour and 10,000 metres in the sky due to satellite-enabled connectivity,” Trai said.

It mentioned International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) 2014 global passenger survey which said that 80% of the passengers would use Wi-Fi if offered on board a flight. The regulator has sought public view on whether the permit for providing IFC should be given under existing licences or a separate category should be created for it, requirement of registrations, use of satellite systems, etc.

It has fixed 27 October as last date for comment on the paper and 3 November for counter comment.

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