Yes, soon you can bid good bye to being bored while flying, at least on this airline! Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has allowed in-flight connectivity (IFC) in the Indian skies which means commuters can now receive voice calls and even use the internet while the plane is airborne. German giants, Lufthansa following the decision has announced that it will offer WiFi on its flight to, from and over India the moment “it is allowed to.” Lufthansa Group South Asia head Wolfgang Will said that the company offers WiFi on all its long-haul flights. Up until now, the services were switched off as soon as the flights coming from international airspace entered the Indian airspace but as soon as Lufthansa will get clearance, the company will provide this service to, from and over India, Will added.
Lufthansa currently offers internet packages called Flynet, starting at Euro 9 and goes up to Euro 17 depending on the duration it is bought ranging from an hour to 24 hours. FlyNet services are available on board at a competitive price of Euro 9 or 3,000 miles for 1 hour, 14 EUR or 4,500 miles for 4 hours and 17 EUR or 5,500 miles for full flight or up to 24 hours.
The TRAI on Friday recommended that in-flight connectivity — both Internet and MCA (mobile communication on aircraft) services — should be allowed over Indian airspace. “It would be the business call of the airline whether it wants to offer Internet services, or MCA services, or both. However, the Authority is of the view that 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. Therefore, both Internet and MCA service should be permitted as in-flight connectivity (IFC) services in the Indian airspace,” said TRAI.
The regulator also said that Internet services through onboard Wi-Fi should be made available only when electronic devices are permitted to be used only in flight or airplane mode and an announcement regarding this should be made when boarding is over and the aircraft is about to taxi on the runway. “It would ensure that there is no encroachment on the scope of terrestrial Internet service provided by telecom service providers as well as practically there won’t be any appreciable discontinuity in the provisioning of Internet services to the fliers,” said TRAI.