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Last updated: 20 Jan, 2018  

Flight.9.thmb.jpg Industry welcomes TRAI proposal on in-flight mobile calls, Internet services

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SME Times News Bureau | 20 Jan, 2018

The Indian industry on Friday welcomed the proposal of TRAI to allow both Internet access and mobile phone calls on board aircraft in Indian airspace.

"It is a progressive move and good for today's travellers who want to be connected all the time," Sharat Dhall, COO (B2C) with Yatra.com told IANS.

"Also brings India in line with the more developed markets where it has been in existence for a while now. The airlines will have to make significant investment of time and resources for this to get implemented so it may take a while for it to actually come into use."

The Indian telecom regulator on Friday recommended that both Internet access and mobile phone calls should be permitted on board aircraft in Indian airspace.

"The operation of mobile communication on aircraft (MCA) services should be permitted with minimum height restriction of 3,000 metres in Indian airspace," the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said.

The TRAI said to promote the adoption of in-flight connectivity, IFC service providers should be allowed to be set up at a flat annual token licence fee of Re 1. The framework recommended for IFC services in Indian airspace should be made applicable to all types of aircrafts such as commercial airlines, business jets and executive aircrafts, it said.

According to independent aviation expert Amrit Pandurangi, the move is a step in the right direction, "but as usual with poor civic sense amongst passengers, this will result in disturbance and nuisance to co-passengers".

 
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