Saturday, January 05, 2019

Government to form inter-ministerial panel to roll out in-flight mobile services by March

The government on Friday decided to form an inter-ministerial panel to roll out in-flight and maritime mobile services within three months, an official source said.

The inter-ministerial group will meet every 15 days to sort out issues and expedite the process of approvals till the rollout of in-flight and maritime connectivity (IFMC) services stabilises, the source told PTI.

"A meeting was held today with industry players -- airlines, shipping companies, telecom operators and government departments. It has been decided to form an inter-ministerial group for a quick rollout of IFMC services. The group will meet every 15 days to sort out issues that arise till the implementation smoothens," the source said.

The government has notified rules for providing mobile phone services during air travel and ship voyage within Indian territory.

The meeting on IFMC services, chaired by Department of Telecom (DoT) Additional Secretary Anshu Prakash, lasted for about two hours.

It was attended by representatives from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Directorate General of Shipping, Department of Space as well as DoT.

Industry players like Air India, Vistara, Indigo, SpiceJet, Go Air, Jet Airways, AirAsia, BSNL, Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Hughes India, Tata Telenet, Inmarsat, Panasonic and Nokia also attended the meeting.

"Based on the discussions, it was felt that the services will be rolled out within three months. SpiceJet said that they have made arrangement for the service in 10 aircraft. DGCA said it will expeditiously approve modifications in aircraft," the source said.
05/01/19 PTI/Business Today