Thursday, October 18, 2018

Internet in plane soon, but wait for voice call

New Delhi: Your wait to use mobile phones on airplanes may soon be over, but you may only get to surf the internet initially as the government has decided against allowing voice calls over security concerns.

Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan told TOI that her ministry has sent the final notification on allowing mobile services on aircrafts to the law ministry. “Once it is approved, we will issue the notification regarding its rollout.” However, she added that voice may be bared initially. “We will be inviting applications only for data now. On voice, the gateway issue is there. We need to have the mobile voice gateway within India.”

The issue stems from the government’s concerns around security and other procedural aspects. The committee of secretaries (CoS), led by the cabinet secretary, has made it clear that only Indian/local gateways and satellites should be used for providing voice services. CoS preferred the India-based gateways in view of possible security issues. However, it is understood that Trai had not objected to the use of international gateways for providing in-flight connectivity.
18/10/18 Pankaj Doval/Times of India
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