Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wi-Fi in India skies soon: TRAI to issue rules in 15 days

New Delhi: Surfing the net while flying in Indian skies is soon going to be reality. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman R S Sharma Wednesday said "inflight connectivity (IFC) shall be allowed" and the way how that is to be done will be given by the month-end. "We are working on that and will issue the parameters for IFC of by the end of this calendar year, which means in the next 15 days or so," Sharma said.
The aviation ministry had about two years back recommended that IFC be allowed Indian skies and since then the proposal has been shuttling between various ministries like home (for security clearances) and then telecom for working out the way it has to be done.
Once TRAI issues IFC rules, individual airlines can set up infrastructure in accordance with them and ensure that flyers can surf the net, receive and send emails while flying in Indian skies.
About two months back, had issued a consultation paper+ on IFC to frame rules for the same. The regulator is examining whether on board Internet should be allowed to flyers from the moment they board aircraft to when they alight or when the aircraft has reached an altitude of 3 km. And finally, whether Indian flyers should have access to both internet services and mobile communication services.
13/12/17 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India