Good news! Soon, use mobile services while flying as government approves in-flight connectivity

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Updated: May 1, 2018 2:52:51 PM

In a good news for air passengers, the Telecom Commission on Tuesday granted conditional approval for in-flight mobile services connectivity.

Domestic air passenger traffic, india Domestic air passenger traffic, DGCA, domestic airlines, Civil AviationThe mobile phone calls and internet services will be allowed in domestic and international flights in India. (Reuters)

In a good news for air passengers, the Telecom Commission on Tuesday granted conditional approval for in-flight mobile services connectivity, PTI reported citing government sources. The mobile phone calls and internet services will be allowed in domestic and international flights in India, the sources said. On 20 January, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had recommended in-flight connectivity of both Internet and MCA (mobile communication on aircraft) services over the Indian airspace. “Both Internet and MCA service should be permitted as in-flight connectivity (IFC) services in the Indian airspace.” TRAI had then said. With this approval, frequent fliers no longer will have to turn on ‘airplane mode’ while taking a flight.

TRAI had said, “As long as the provision of the service is technically feasible and security concerns can be addressed, there should be no regulatory barrier in the provisioning of any of these services.” The telecom regulator had also said that the minimum height at which mobile communication can be made available should be limited to 3,000 metres. An airline flight usually reaches to the height within four to five minutes after take-off as of now.

The telecom regulator then had also said that it is upto the airlines if they want to provide one or both the services namely mobile phone calls and internet services.

Telecom Commission also approved regulator Trai’s recommendations on internet telephony in its meeting on Tuesday. Another proposal that received approval entails creation of an ombudsman to deal with telecom grievances, PTI reported citing telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan. The ombudsman will be set up under Trai and will require amendment to the Trai Act, PTI reported.

About 10 million grievances are received per quarter in telecom sector, PTI reported citing telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan said. She also added that the new mechanism of ombudsman will result in a better and satisfactory consumer grievance redressal system.

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