You may soon surf internet mid-air; TRAI recommends in-flight Wi-Fi

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Updated: January 19, 2018 5:11:47 PM

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended in favour of Wi-Fi connectivity on flights with a minimum height restriction of 3,000 meters.

You may soon surf internet mid-air; TRAI recommends in-flight Wi-Fi. (Image: Reuters)

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended in favour of Wi-Fi connectivity on flights with a minimum height restriction of 3,000 meters. According to PTI, TRAI has recommended allowing internet and mobile communication in flights. The telecom regulatory body said that the Wi-Fi services should be made available when devices are kept in the flight mode. It further suggested that separate category of in-flight service providers to be created.

Last July, TRAI had issued draft design of public WiFi network project that aims to provide low-cost wireless Internet services. Under the proposed system, any entity with valid pan number will be able to set up public data offices (PDOs), similar to PCOs of yesteryears, for providing public Wi-Fi hotspots, as per the draft released by Trai. The regulator has invited proposals from all entities willing to be part of the public Wi-Fi pilot by July 25.

“The authority recommends that both, Internet and Mobile Communication on Aircraft (MCA) service should be permitted as In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) in the Indian airspace,” TRAI said in its recommendations on ‘In-Flight Connectivity’ (IFC).

Trai said that for mobile services, there should be flexibility to IFC service providers in terms of use of technology and frequencies inside the aircraft cabin that should be consistent with international standards, provided no harmful interference is caused.

“The operation of MCA services should be permitted with minimum height restriction of 3000 meters in Indian airspace for its compatibility with terrestrial mobile networks,” Trai recommended.

Meanwhile, it was reported that several Chinese airlines have begun allowing passengers to use mobile phones in flight mode from Thursday, lifting a ban on their use during flights. Other portable electronic devices could be used in flight mode, while on planes with Wi-fi, passengers could access the internet using tablets and laptops but not phones, PTI reported.

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