Flyers would be able to make calls on-board as Modi government gave its nod for in-flight mobile connectivity. Citing sources, a report in the Indian Express stated that passengers would surf the internet in Indian airspace in the next three to four months as the Telecom Commission on Tuesday approved the DoT’s proposal for both internet and mobile communication on aircraft.
According to the Trai’s recommendations, flyers could use their phones once they would reach at 3,000 ft. This restriction is being imposed to maintain compatibility with terrestrial networks. A flight generally attains the altitude of 3,000 meters about four-five minutes after take-off.
Earlier it was reported that using the internet in the flight might cost flyers around Rs 500 for 30 minutes and Rs 1,000 for an hour.
According to the recommendations of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) allowing internet and mobile services for passengers during air travel, airlines have been considering introducing the facility.
According to the report published in the Times of India, the above-mentioned charges would be according to international standards and the airlines had took into account the charges levied by service providers for slots on satellites.
Airlines have to pay service providers like Inmarsat and others a hefty sum to activate in-flight net connectivity.
With advance booking fares starting from Rs 1,200 to Rs 2,500 on short domestic routes, in-flight internet connectivity may be too expensive for passengers and airlines in the domestic sector, the report mentioned.
TRAI in its recommendations said that 83% of the passengers would prefer airlines that provided internet connections.
Air passengers expect the same kind of connectivity on board as they do at home or office. Also, there was an increasing interest in the use of mobile phones on aircraft, Trai said, adding that already over 30 airlines, and 40 jurisdictions, allow such usage on board.